TJ Barnes of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers will be returning home to Enterprise later this month to host the second ever TJ Barnes Youth Football Camp on June 29.
The free camp will give youth football players from the area a chance to learn from the former All-State Enterprise grad – who went on to earn All-ACC honors at Georgia Tech before playing professionally in both the NFL and AAF – and a host of other players.
“I just wanted to find a way to give something back to the community,” Barnes said. “Being (one of the) only professional athletes from Enterprise, I feel like I have a sense of duty to come back and give back when I can, especially to kids.”
Barnes recently signed with the Carolina Panthers after playing for the Atlanta Legends in the Alliance of American Football league before its closure earlier this year. Barnes said that he hopes to bring out a few surprise guest coaches at the camp that are current NFL stars and will also be coaching at the camp alongside a number of former Enterprise greats including Randy Hart, Dexter Hart and his father Terry Jones. Jones played at both Enterprise and at Auburn before becoming a Coffee County Sherriff’s Deputy.
Campers will get a chance to learn fundamentals while doing drills and will close out the camp with a 7-on-7 flag football tournament. Adults from the community are also welcomed to compete alongside the kids in the 7-on-7 tournament.
“It’s going to be a really good day and I’m excited that I’m going to have the opportunity to do this (camp) again,” Barnes said.
Barnes said that he thinks along with teaching about football that he can give kids that want to accomplish the things he has on and off the field some insight.
“I can give them a little bit of insight to see that someone from this area went off to college and got a degree and was able to pursue his dreams,” Barnes said. “It lets them know it’s possible and not just with sports either. If they want to be a lawyer or dentist or get into real estate, anything is possible.”
Children aged 7-16 from all over the area are welcome to sign up for the camp which will be free of charge and will also include a lunch.
“I know at that age I couldn’t afford to go to different types of camps and stuff,” Barnes said. “It’s about giving back to the community and to the kids, not about making money.”
The camp will take place at Bates Memorial Stadium in Enterprise on June 29 with check-in beginning at 8 a.m.
To register for the event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tj-barnes-youth-football-camp-tickets-63070113407 and for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .