By Alex Byington
Killeen Daily Herald
There will be plenty to do for kids of all ages this weekend as nearly a dozen current and former professional football players, as well as many more big names, give back at the third annual Cen-Tex Pro Football Camp and Combine today and Saturday at Leo Buckley Stadium, put on by the non-profit charity Hometown Pros.
"The goal of Hometown Pros and this weekend is to continually give back," said Hometown Pros president James Lane. "To build upon the success of last year's camp and further the impact on the community and be a positive influence on these kids lives."
The weekend will also include the second annual Pro Player Casino Night with over 30 casino games available for adults Saturday evening at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. Tickets are $25 and includes 5,000 chips and the opportunity to win prizes, all while interacting with pro football players.
Among the pros in attendance at both events will be former Shoemaker and Texas standout Roy Miller (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), NFL free agent and ex-Ellison star Tommie Harris, ex-Killeen and Oklahoma receiver Juaquin Iglesias (Houston Texans), former Harker Heights and Baylor receiver Dominique Zeigler (formerly of the San Francisco 49ers), along with a pair of former Longhorns in Quan Cosby (Indianapolis Colts) and Frank Okam (Tampa Bay Bucs).
Also expected are former Shoemaker and Purdue receiver Keith Smith, among many others.
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 then participating in a real-life combine experience on Saturday.
Registration fees are $60 per camper if done online before the start of the camp and $75 onsite. Parents can register online at http://hometownpros.org.
Already 150 have pre-registered online with another 50-plus registering through organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.
"We're probably at just over 200 now and we're expecting anywhere from 50 to 100 at the gate," said Lane.
Last year, close to 150 campers were registered Friday afternoon on the first day of the event.
There will be more than 40 coaches available for instruction, including close to 10 current or former professional football players and another dozen or so college players with ties to the area. There will also be plenty of current and former high school coaches from around Central Texas helping provide instruction.
As a non-profit charitable organization, all proceeds — minus what it cost to put on the camp and casino night — will be put back into the community.
"We're going to put on some free camps in the spring, try to fly some players in during the school year to visit some of the schools in our community, and just try to make as big of a positive impact as we can," Lane said.