SoFloBulls.com | Community leaders are still seeking volunteers and sponsors for the free USF, Willie Taggart satellite camp.
Palmetto, FL – USF Assistant Coach Raymond Woodie had an idea: He wanted join fellow Manatee County native, USF Head Coach Willie Taggart, for a football camp to give back to the community where they grew up.
After contacting Manatee County Commissioner Charles Smith last month, Woodie’s dream will soon be a reality. He and Taggart are coming home to Palmetto to spread the word of dreams, goals and aspirations to the youth of Manatee County.
The fourth-year Bulls coach and his USF coaching staff will conduct the Willie Taggart Dreams, Goals & Aspirations Camp on Tuesday, July 19 at Lincoln Park, 501 17th St. E. in Palmetto. Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m. The football camp is scheduled to be held from 9 a.m. to noon.
The camp is free and open to students entering grades 1 through 8. Lunch and T-shirts will be available for sale.
The fields where the camp will be held are across the street from Taggart’s childhood home.
“This is where I grew up, so it’s important to go back and tell these kids they need to dream big,” Taggart said. “Football has been everything to me. It gave me an opportunity to fulfill my dreams and hopefully it can fulfill some of those other kids’ dreams.”
The DGA Camp is designed to “enhance the youngest players’ football experience, teaching campers proper techniques and fundamentals with an emphasis on making football a fun experience,” according to the camp website.
A coaches clinic for all youth league coaches will be held Monday, July 18 at the 13th Avenue Dream Center in Bradenton. Taggart and the USF staff will work with youth coaches (grades 1 through 8) from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission to the coaches clinic is $5.
Smith’s district includes Palmetto, where Taggart and Woodie lived as children.
“We’re dealing with some of the greatest role models to ever come out of Manatee County,” Smith said. “Coach Taggart’s work will change lives in this community. He and his staff grew up here and made something positive of themselves. It’s important for the young children of the community to understand they can be anything they want. Seeing these USF leaders will keep our children out of trouble and set a high bar to follow.”
Smith and Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant are leading the charge to find volunteers and sponsors to help make the camp a success. Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department is helping to organize the event.
“This is going to be a really special event and there’s already a lot of excitement surrounding it,” Bryant said. “We’re looking forward to the USF Bulls being in Palmetto.”
For more information about volunteering or sponsoring the Willie Taggart DGA Camp, call Smith at (941) 745-3702 or Bryant at (941) 723-4570. To register for the DGA Camp or the coaches camp, click the Register button below.
by Amanda Lamela, Patch Staff
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