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  • Writer's picturepeters1119

Showing kids the way: Gunn and a group of former Hammond Morton gridders conduct youth football camp

When he was in third grade, Phyllip Gunn dreamed of playing professional football, like many young kids.

Unlike many kids, the Hammond Morton graduate also had a back-up plan, just in case it doesn't work out.

"The classroom was never a real problem," Gunn said. "I knew what my goal was and I knew what it took to get it."

Gunn, who just finished his freshman year at Ball State, shared a message of football and life Friday, as part of a group of a dozen past Governors gridders now playing college during the Under the Lights Youth Camp at Hammond Morton's Zlotnik Field.

"I came back to visit the high school and I was talking to coach Mac (Mishler) about giving back to the youth, getting some former teammates to teach kids how to be better football players, but more important, to stay out of trouble," Gunn said. "Football can also get you a free education, get you a degree and be set for life, if you do the proper thing. It's good way to put my brand on the map, to mentor young kids."

As hard as it might seem to turn the idea into reality, Gunn didn't have much difficulty in getting everybody to make it home and pitch in with the camp.

"Some of them are still on break, some of them are coming from a break," said Gunn, who drove back from Muncie on Friday morning. "I have a tight relationship with most of them. We're all in the 19 to 23 age range. I played with most of them, and a couple I didn't, but I knew them because they were also at Morton. I asked them and they had no problem."

Close to 100 kids participated, a strong response for the debut event.

"I think we had a nice turnout," Gunn said. "Coach Mac and the other coaches let me use their resources. I'm excited because there's never been anything like it. There aren't too many camps like this. I want to make it an annual thing in the Region."


Phyllip Gunn coordinated a youth football camp Friday at Hammond Morton that featured a dozen former Governors gridders now playing in college.



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