Johnson camp coming in April

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Selma native and Cincinnati Bengals’ defender Michael Johnson will host his third annual football and cheer camp in April at Memorial Stadium. Above, Johnson talks to attendees of last year’s camp.

Selma native and Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson is preparing to give back to the community once again.

The Third Annual Michael Johnson Youth Football and Cheer Camp will take place Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Selma Memorial Stadium.

Michael said the camp is one way he hopes to inspire youth to keep chasing their dreams.

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“As a result of my education and hard work I was able to actualize my dreams of being in the NFL,” Michael said in a press release. “Now it’s of the utmost importance to me to help share those principles to help our youth fuel their passions as well.”

Michael’s mother, Thomasene Johnson, said the camp is something Michael wanted to do because he saw a need in Selma.

“It’s something that he loves doing, he loves interacting with the kids,” Thomasene said. “He just wants to give back and help the kids any way he can. He’s always big hearted and he’s always wanted to help those he thought needed it. Having spent his bye week here visiting schools and everything, I think he realizes that Selma could use the help, and the camp will help them out a lot.”

The camp is open to boys and girls ages 8-17, with fees for both the football and cheerleading camps being $20 each.

The camp is limited to 300 children on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Participants in the football camp will go through drills with Michael and guests to this year’s camp, including Clinton McDonald of the Seattle Seahawks, Robert Geathers of the Cincinnati Bengals, retired Cincinnati Bengals star Antwan Odom, and Gary Guyton of the New England Patriots.

Amanda Spann, a publicist with Trea Day Management & Publicity that works with Michael’s MJ93 Fund, said the camp will not only teach children athletic skills, but it will also teach life lessons.

“With the camp, they try to make it a combination of educational and athletic events,” Spann said. “There will be a lot of activities for boys and girls and they’ll get to partake in activities that they’ll get to meet the players, they’ll get signed autographs, and they actually get to talk and interact with them. They’ll also instill values of being successful.”

Thomasene said she expects this year’s camp to be the best one yet.

“It’s going to bigger and better than it’s ever been and the kids are going to just be blown away by what we have planned for them,” Thomasene said. “We’re just excited to be able to do this and offer this to the children of Selma and around the community. And we’re just thankful to the businesses and the people in the community because they have been so supportive.”

To register or for more information, go to or