Suffolk Chargers players work with participants of the Peanut City Football Camp last year. Norfolk State University and King's Fork High School coaches will be instructors this year. Chargers players in front, from left: Floyd Clark and Carlos Rodriquez; Charger in back: Daryl Greene. (Angela Harper photo)
Suffolk Chargers players work with participants of the Peanut City Football Camp last year. Norfolk State University and King's Fork High School coaches will be instructors this year. Chargers players in front, from left: Floyd Clark and Carlos Rodriquez; Charger in back: Daryl Greene. (Angela Harper photo)

Coaches give back to SICAA

Published 10:08pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Suffolk Inner City Athletic Association is bringing in some notable former players to help lead the ninth edition of the Peanut City Football Camp on July 26 at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

Norfolk State University’s offensive coordinator/receivers coach Donald Hill-Eley is coming back to where he grew up to give back to the SICAA.

“I was playing football in the neighborhood when Coach (David) Baker asked me to come play for his team,” Hill-Eley said, referring to the SICAA’s founder. “I just feel like I owe them because that’s where I got my start.”

Suffolk Chargers defensive back Andre “AJ” Harper helps Damarrion Madison get prepared in a flag football game during the Peanut City Football Camp last year. Norfolk State University coach Donald Hill-Eley plans to bring former players to help him run the camp this year. (Angela Harper photo)
Suffolk Chargers defensive back Andre “AJ” Harper helps Damarrion Madison get prepared in a flag football game during the Peanut City Football Camp last year. Norfolk State University coach Donald Hill-Eley plans to bring former players to help him run the camp this year. (Angela Harper photo)

Before being hired on at NSU, Hill-Eley was head coach for 12 years at Morgan State University, where he became the third-winningest coach in Bears history. He figures to bring players from both NSU and MSU to the camp to assist him.

The camp, set to run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is for boys ages 5-13, but also girls, because cheerleader training will be offered. Former cheerleaders from the SICAA and various high schools around the area will serve as instructors, teaching basic cheers and dances.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served after the camp concludes.

“The whole camp and refreshments are free, and anybody is invited out,” SICAA president Robert Faulk said.

Sha’ka Miller and Leo Eley, assistant coaches for King’s Fork High School’s football program, will also be helping Hill-Eley run the camp.

Participating for the second straight year, Miller, the Bulldogs offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, said he hopes to give the youths “some skills that they can utilize to successfully play this great game of football.”

Faulk said the boys will be put through basic drills, and they will be doing some conditioning, ahead of the first day of Suffolk Steelers practice on Aug. 1.

“We try to get them motivated and ready for that big day, which is a lot of running,” Faulk said.

Given the current concerns about head injuries in the game of football, Hill-Eley is hoping to educate campers on the fundamentals of tackling.

“It may even help protect a kid or two that may not know how to keep his head up when he’s making a tackle or keep his head from being involved,” he said.

Additionally, Hill-Eley plans to help the boys develop their agility and speed and to teach them individual techniques for the variety of football positions.

Miller, a former Steelers player in the SICAA, said he also hopes to let the campers know “that they too can be something when they grow up.”

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