Butler bringing football camp to city

Published 10:27 am Thursday, June 11, 2015

The last time Vicksburg saw Malcolm Butler, he was riding on a parade float, thanking everyone in sight for his success, and hopping into the truck gifted to him by Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.

Butler wasn’t about to ride off into the sunset in his 2015 Chevy Colorado, however, and leave his hometown in the dust.

The cornerback who clinched the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX victory over Seattle with a goal line interception in February will return this summer to give back to the city that sent him on his way to stardom.

Malcolm Butler

Malcolm Butler

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Butler will host the inaugural “Malcolm Butler Football Camp” on July 18 at Vicksburg High’s Memorial Stadium. The camp is open to children in grades 1-8 and is free, although participation is limited to 250 children.

“He wanted to do it, so we got together with him and his people,” said James Daniel, president of the Vicksburg Gator Booster Club, which is helping host and promote the camp. “We’re definitely fired up about it. We’re looking forward to it and expecting a good turnout. Malcolm wanted to work with this community and the kids. This is something he can do to give back.”

Anyone wanting their child to attend the camp should probably hurry. The camp is free, but space is limited to keep things manageable, Daniel said.

Reigstration will begin Monday, June 22 at 8 a.m. at Vicksburg High School, and continue each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first 250 applications that are completed and returned will be accepted.

The deadline for registration is July 8, but considering an estimated 10,000 people lined the streets of downtown Vicksburg in February for Butler’s Super Bowl victory parade, it’s a safe bet those 250 spots will be long gone by then.

The camp will, of course, feature football drills and instruction from Butler and whatever friends and teammates he can wrangle for the occasion.

It’ll also offer lessons for life.

Butler’s story is well known by now. He went from junior college washout to Super Bowl star in a few short years.

Butler’s story is one of determination and perserverance. Amidst the chalk talk and Super Bowl stories, Butler will take time to talk to the kids and share his story.

And therein lies the real value of this camp. Children can get football lessons at any number of camps this summer. If they pay attention, however, there’s no better place to learn how to believe in yourself and stay focused on a goal when the going gets tough than from someone who’s been down that road a few times.

So start lining up now. Those 250 precious spots will be gone faster than you can say, “I’m going to Disney World.”

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer. He can be reached at 601-619-7120 or via email at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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