ROCKINGHAM — Former Richmond Senior standout and current Miami Dolphins linebacker Dannell Ellerbe will be returning to Richmond County next month.
The reason? His third annual football camp.
The camp is scheduled for July 12 on the practice fields at Richmond Senior. The camp is free and open to children from 6 to 15 years of age. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes a T-shirt and lunch.
To enroll in the camp, visit www.usafootball.com/fun and click on clinics. Under “Find a clinic,” type in Dannell Ellerbe and click on the search button. When Ellerbe’s camp shows up, click “Register” to begin the process. New usafootball.com users must create an account and completely fill out the information to sign up.
Last year’s camp attracted nearly 350 children and Ellerbe hopes to have the same interest this time around.
“A lot of it was because it was after the Super Bowl,” Ellerbe said. “Hopefully we can get at least 200. Even if only 10 show up, as long as I can help one is all that matters.”
Ellerbe admits there was a problem at the registration table that caused a delay. He plans on improving that as well as trying to ensure there are enough T-shirts for campers.
“Things ran smoother last year from the first, but we want to make the registration lines run smoother,” Ellerbe said. “And we want to make sure only campers and staff get T-shirts.”
Ellerbe laughed when he added there was another area that needs to improve for the upcoming camp — his punctuality. Last year he was running late and missed the group photo.
“I will be there this time,” Ellerbe said. “I plan on being on time.”
Valerie Covington, Ellerbe’s mother, works behind the scenes to make sure the campers are having a good time. She said her phone has been ringing constantly as people have been asking her about the camp.
Covington said it makes her proud to see children and others wearing a camp T-shirt or one of her son’s jerseys around the county. Plus, she is really excited about a billboard in Hamlet featuring her son and his camp.
“It’s beautiful,” Covington gushed. “It’s really overwhelming seeing a lot of kids wearing his shirts. The adults too. I’m just tickled pink.”
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-997-3111, ext. 14 or on Twitter @scgolfer.