Delaney, who was a standout quarterback at John F. Kennedy in the 1980s and played quarterback at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Central State in Ohio, will share his love for the game with local youth as he will hold his pro camp for kids on May 31 and June 1 at C.V. Thurmond Field in Mound Bayou on the campus of John F. Kennedy High School. The camp is for players between ages 7-17 and will last from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. each day.
Delaney has held the camp in the past but wasn’t able to hold it for a couple of years because he was an assistant coach at UABP and it was against NCAA recruiting rules.
Delany, who was NAIA Player of the Year at Central State in 1991, is now a baseball and football coach at Hamilton High School in Memphis, Tenn. and is able to hold his instructional camps again.
“I’m back, I’m happy and I’m tickled pink about coming back home and doing my camp here again,” Delaney said. “I want it to be a big turnout. I want to call the coaches out as far as bringing the players to come out and participate as well. We’re going to have a coach’s corner at the Senator’s Place on May 30. We’re going to meet and greet with the players. I want it to be real successful like it’s been. ”
Some of the current and retired professional ball players that will be at the camp are current Houston Texans offensive tackle Derrick Newton, current Houston Texans running back Ben Tate, former Carolina Panthers player Dante’ Wesley, former Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions defensive player Marcus Bell, former Oakland Raiders player Carl Kidd and former Atlanta Falcons player Leroy Banks. Archie Cooley, who is known for his stint as head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University from 1980-86, will also be at the camp. Cooley has coached many football greats such as NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Willie Totten. Cooley was also the head football coach at UABP when Delaney played there.
Delaney said having the pros, along with Cooley, adds something special to the camp.
“My camp will be very intense,” Delaney said. “We’ll have a good plan. I just want everybody in Bolivar County to get involved and bring their kids. I guarantee they will love it.”
One thing about the pro camp is that Delaney wants to teach more than football. He said some of the instructors are going to emphasize the importance of both the SAT and the ACT tests as well as making the grades in the classroom.
“You’ve got to be a student-athlete,” Delaney said. “It starts in the classroom and then it carries on to football, baseball, basketball and other sports. Football carried me a long ways, and I’ve been successful doing it. The camp is not just fundamentals of football. We’re going to teach life skills as well. We want to let the kids know what it’s about as far as trying to pursue their dream in football.”
Delaney said making good grades are crucial if a player wants to compete on the college level one day.
“Like I tell my ball players, you have to get your grades,” Delaney said. “If you don’t get your grades, you’re not going to go. If you got some grades and you’re a standout, you’ll make it.”
The registration fee for the camp is $35 with the money order payable to the First and Ten Foundation.
For more information about the pro camp, contact Delaney at (404)-735-6949 or Tammy Morton at (662)-588-9608.