Vicksburg native, NFL star Butler hosts free football camp Saturday at VHS

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 13, 2018

Some of Vicksburg’s future football stars will hit the field Saturday to learn from its biggest current one.

The fourth annual Malcolm Butler Football Camp is set for Saturday morning at Vicksburg High School’s Memorial Stadium. More than 400 children have registered for the event, which features hands-on instruction from its namesake and other college and NFL players.

Butler, a former Vicksburg High star, is entering his fifth season in the NFL. The two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots signed a five-year, $61 million free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans in the offseason.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“You never know who is the next Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Malcolm Butler, who is the next big football star coming out of this camp. Who is going to be that star and look back and say, ‘I went to Malcolm Butler’s football camp when I was little,’” Malcolm Butler Football Camp coordinator Cynthia Bell said. “It’s something every kid wants to do, is show a big-time football player what they can do.”

Butler started his free youth football camp in 2015, following his star-making performance in Super Bowl XLIX. It has continued to grow since then, doubling in size from its original setup to include two separate but simultaneous camps — the Malcolm & Me Camp for players in grades 1-6, and the Malcolm Butler Football Camp for players in grades 7-12.

The Malcolm & Me Camp is for the younger set and focuses on life lessons as well as basic football techniques. The Malcolm Butler Football Camp is more football-oriented for players in the junior high and high school ranks.

Registration for the camp closed in April, and no walk-ups will be accepted on Saturday, Bell said. Those who have registered should arrive at Memorial Stadium at 7:30 a.m. for check-in, and have with them cleats or tennis shoes, shorts and a T-shirt. Activities will begin around 9 a.m. and continue through noon.

Bell said only camp participants and volunteers will be allowed on the field at Memorial Stadium during the camp. Parents are welcome to watch from the stands, and free water and snacks will be available for them.

A donut breakfast will be served, and campers will have the opportunity to have professional pictures taken with Butler for an extra $10 charge.

“That’s somebody that’s coming in to take the pictures for us, and that’s far less than they usually charge. They can get a nice, professional 8×10 picture,” Bell said.

Bell thanked the camp’s sponsors for making it possible through financial and material donations.

“This is one of the city’s big events, and we can’t think the sponsors enough. We’ve got Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Kroger, Caldwell Banker, Ameristar Casino, to name a few. These are people that want to see it grow and be a part of the community,” Bell said. “We’ve never had to ask them twice. They’ve always given us what we’ve needed.”

• Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon, at Vicksburg High School
• The camp is for children in grades 1-12. Registration is closed and no walk-up registration will be accepted.
• Campers should arrive at Vicksburg High’s Memorial Stadium at 7:30 a.m. for check-in. They should bring a T-shirt and shorts, and cleats or tennis shoes.
• Only camp participants and volunteers will be allowed on the field during the camp. Parents may watch from the stands. Free water and snacks will be available.

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.

email author More by Ernest