Vashon K. Jones
CCC Sports Information
Coahoma Community College hosted the 2018 Youth Football Camp sponsored by Families First for Mississippi. More than 80 youths ages 6-13 attended the camp. Th majority of the participants came from throughout the Mississippi Delta to learn the game of football and the game of life.
A very special guest stopped by the camp to talk to the young participants about his life experiences. College football legend Marcus Dupree stepped onto the CCC campus to open his heart and soul to the community. Dupree has a familiar connection to Coahoma. His mother attended and graduated from the two-year institution.
“It’s nothing but God to bring us back to where my mother first started,” said Dupree. “We want to help more people in the Delta advance their lives.”
Dupree is a Philadelphia, Miss. native who took the country by storm in his youth. He became one of the best high school football players in America. The University of Oklahoma opened their doors to the athletic star and ended up recruiting him. Dupree had a very short yet impactful career with the Sooners. He was second-team All American with 224 carries for 1,789 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“The ultimate goal is not being afraid to fail,” said Dupree. “You start at the top and then you go down. You may fail one or two times but it’s about where you end up.”
He was featured in the ESPN docuseries “30 for 30”: ‘The Best That Never Was.’ The film was one of the most talked about sports documentaries. Unsurprisingly, there are some qualities that Dupree finds essential to one’s character.
Dupree says, “The main thing is to make the right choices and be patient in the process. You have to be disciplined throughout life. If you don’t have discipline, you can’t make it.”
Camp Director Marcus Dent has coordinated many football camps for Families First all over the state of Mississippi. He wanted CCC to host this camp to reach youth in the Mississippi Delta. Dent hails from Columbus, Miss. He played on the gridiron at Alcorn State University from 1989 until 1992.
He has dedicated much of his time developing young aspirants into future high school and college football players. He led a similar three-day youth football camp in Choctaw, Miss. in March.
“The main focus is to keep kids occupied and thinking about positive things,” said Dent. “We want the kids to think about their future down the road.”
The Youth Football camps are part of the “Fatherhood Program.” The purpose of the Fatherhood Program is to give dedicated fathers the tools to become better role models for the community.
“We need to start with the little kids because these are the ones who will give back to the community,” said Dent. “The football field will teach you leadership and teamwork.”
This is the first of many football camps Families First and Coach Dent will put on at CCC.
“Coahoma had one of the largest attended camps so far this year,” Dent added. “We’ll be back next year to add different things to make the camp much better.”