By Alex Byington
The Cove Herald
In three years, Roy Miller has already started to see the impact of giving back to the community that gave him so much.
Whether it's on the smiling face of a child that's attended one of the camps he's put on, or the growing number of area prospects earning Division I opportunities, the effect is obvious.
"What we do here is important, giving back to the community, those (interactions) last forever," said Miller, who is entering his fourth NFL season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"Those impacts that you make on those kids, you never know how many you can influence. ... It can encourage a lot of kids to do right, and whether they go into football or into life with confidence in themselves, we think that's very important (to facilitate) no matter what.
"I think that's part of the job. That type of influence is something you have to do."
Miller and his fellow Killeen-area professional football players, including Ellison's Texas High School Hall of Famer Tommie Harris, will get another chance to influence lives this weekend at the third annual Cen-Tex Pro Football Camp and Combine today and Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium, put on by the nonprofit charity Hometown Pros.
Joining Miller as pros-turned-coaches will be free agent Harris (formerly of the San Diego Chargers), ex-Killeen and Oklahoma receiver Juaquin Iglesias (Houston Texans), former Harker Heights and Baylor standout Dominique Zeigler (formerly of the San Francisco 49ers), along with a pair of former Longhorns — Quan Cosby (Indianapolis Colts) and Frank Okam (Tampa Bay Bucs). Also expected are former Shoemaker and Purdue receiver Keith Smith, among others.
There will also be plenty of current and former coaches from around the Central Texas helping provide instruction.
"These are the best at what they do, with the technique, posture, skills that they can show these kids something they won't be able to find anywhere else," said Hometown Pros president James Lane. "The kids are going to learn a whole lot, and the high school kids are going to (participate) in an actual combine this year, with all their stats recorded. ... It's going to be a great event for (everybody)."
The non-contact camp is for anyone ages 8-18, with the two-day event beginning today at 5:30 p.m. and continuing Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.
The campers will be broken up into three groups based on their age, with elementary students learning basic fundamentals and middle and high school students focusing more on specific position drills and such.
Registration fees are up from last year, albeit only slightly. Day-of-camp registration is $75, and parents can register online at http://hometownpros.org.
"It's really a great thing that we have and we just hope to take it to the next level from last year," Miller said. "We had about 220-240 kids and we're trying to have the same if not more and just make the camp better for the kids, make the experience better."