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Pro teaches kids

SELMA — About 250 area football players ran drills and got a message about the value of hard work Saturday as Dallas County High School graduate and Cincinati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson held a football camp at Memorial Stadium.

“It makes me excited to see them grow as young men,” Johnson said. “They’re all having fun and that’s what it’s about. If you love for the game, you’re going to work to improve what you need to work on.”

One participant, 9-year-old Aljhrah Johnson, said the message was not about just football.

“He said to listen to your teachers and get good grades,” Aljhrah said. “If you don’t listen to your teachers, you won’t get to play football.”

Jhalandius Sullivan, 12, said the chance to learn from a NFL player was what made the camp special.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” Sullivan said. “He said it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters if you work hard or not.”

Jimmie Coleman, who was in charge of directing the camp, said it was good the see the whole community involved.

“Selma High and Morgan Academy came together,” Coleman said. “We have a good cross-section of the community here, and that’s good for the city of Selma.”

Derrick Edwards Jr., 8, won the MVP trophy at the camp.