Football and its cast of super heroes will take center stage for this year's large selection of summer sports camps on the Peninsula.
The 17th annual Colonial All-Pro Football Camp at William and Mary June 20-23 will be tough to top. It features quarterback Drew Brees and safety Darren Sharper from the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints to go with one of the most popular figures in the sport today, all-pro safety Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"Its a great group," camp director Bob Solderitch said. "We're expecting a big turnout."
Brees has become one of the most sought-after NFL celebrities since leading the Saints to the Super Bowl title over the Indianapolis Colts and winning MVP honors.
The other feature attractions are the inaugural Michael Vick football camp June 23-25 at Hampton University and the 14th edition of the Peninsula All-Star camp July 9-10 at Christopher Newport University.
Vick, who has long wanted to host his own camp on the Peninsula, said he has commitments from such present and former NFL standouts as Hall of Famer Bruce Smith, quarterback Donovan McNabb of the Washington Redskins, running back Adrian Peterson and receiver Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings, and former Saints' quarterback Aaron Brooks.
The list of celebrities for the Peninsula All-Star camp includes Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Antoine Bethea of Indianapolis, Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots, Marques Hagans of the Redskins, and many others with local connections.
What sets the Peninsula camp apart from the others is that everything's free for 200 kids ages 8-13 and 200 more invited high school players. It's been that way since Carl Francis, the communications director for the NFL Players Association, and Vernon Lee -- both from Hampton -- began the camp 17 years ago. It now comes under the umbrella of the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation, which strives to provide area youth with positive role models and experiences.
That includes discussions on real-life issues.
"Last year we had a serious discussion on gang violence and Mike Tomlin and Elton Brown got real emotional during the talks," Francis said.
Once again, the kick off to the camp is a Tailgating with Tomlin Party from 6:30-9 p.m. on July 8 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center.That will be open to the public.
For those hooked on basketball, there are plenty of camps on the summer junket. They are headed by Camp Crossover II, which features Allen Iverson as one of the special guests. It will be held July 6-8 at the Boo Williams Sportsplex and move to Hampton University on July 9 for Championship Day and a special fatherhood forum.
This year's camp is a partnership with Ed Joyner and the men's basketball program at HU.
"The camp focuses on not only basketball skills, but also life skills, including the importance of education, learning early how to handle money, and making positive choices," said Gary Moore of Crossover Promotions. The camp is for boys and girls ages 8-18 and the cost is $100.
The roundball list also includes the William & Mary boys' basketball camp with CAA Coach of the Year Tony Shaver on June 22-25 and the Lady Captains basketball camps under the direction of USA South Coach of the Year Carolyn Hunter. The Lady Captains' staff for the camps will feature members of Christopher Newport University's sensational 30-1 team that enjoyed its best season in school history.
For those with other sports tastes, they can choose from an assortment of camps, ranging from baseball and softball to field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball.
With pitching great Angela Tincher and her All-Pro Dynasty teammates coming to town, softball should be a big draw. They'll be working the 22nd annual Tidewater Girls Softball Camp July 29-31 at Deer Park and War Memorial Stadium.
Tincher, the 2008 College Player of the Year at Virginia Tech, is expected to be joined by such stars as outfielder Katie Cochran and infielder Ashley Charters, both members of the 2010 U.S. National Team, plus infielder Kristie Fox, a three-time All-American at Arizona.
All-Pro Dynasty is a professional organization that tours the country and plays exhibitions to promote the game of girls fast-pitch sotball.
"This will our best camp ever," said longtime camp director Bobby Wills.
Area volleyball players will once again have the opportunity to learn from one of the best teachers in the game, Tom Peterson, who formerly led Penn State and BYU to NCAA men's national titles in 1994 and 2004.
Peterson, currently the women's associate head coach at Utah State, will be the featured instructor at the Peak Performance camps June 21-24 at the Quarterpath Recreation Center in Williamsburg.
Become a fan of Daily Press sports. Click HERE
Become a fan of HRVarsity. Click HERE
Follow Daily Press sports. Click HERE
Follow HRVarsity. Click HERE
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times