Coaches Teach Football, Life Lessons At New Salisbury Camp - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Coaches Teach Football, Life Lessons At New Salisbury Camp

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SALISBURY, Md. - Rufus Ryder spent most of his adult life in-and-out of jail.

But after getting out three years ago, he knew it was time for change and time to give back with his All-Star Football Mini Camp.

"I always said I wanted to break the cycle so I want to make sure all the children don't go through what I've been through," said Rufus Ryder.

With the help of a few of his friends, he organized a ten-week program teaching skills both on and off the field. During the camp, Ryder says guest speakers will come to the "Stop The Violence" Recreational Center in Salisbury to talk to the kids about budgeting their time and money, peer pressure, bullying and anger management.

"We want to, you know, give them positive things to think about besides the gangs," said Shawn Lightfoot, friend and co-founder of AFMC.

Ryder says that "we can instill sports into them all day, but it's only going to take them so far."

For the more than 30 Wicomico County kids from ages seven to 17, day one is only the beginning of hard work.

Darion Richardson is a sophomore at Bennett High School and running back/tight-end on the junior varsity football team this past season. He says he joined the camp to "make his team proud."

"People kind of look down on me because I'm short, but I'm trying to prove them wrong."

Ryder's son Ziggy Ryder, an eight grader at Wicomico Middle School, says his father taught him everything he knows about football.

"[But with this camp] I want to get better because I've got to work that much harder because of my height."

he coaches say they'll be right there with them, pushing through the trenches as their students go for the goal line. 

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