Karney's 44 Kids Camp returns to French Field on Saturday

He had NFL dreams, but Mike Karney's goals have always brought him back home to Kent. Karney, a 2000 Kentwood High graduate, achieved those NFL dreams. The current St. Louis Ram fullback will be entering his seventh season in the NFL this fall. However, just as important to the former KW star is the fact that he achieved his goal back home, too. That goal?

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, June 14, 2010 2:49pm
  • Sports
Mike Karney

Mike Karney

He had NFL dreams, but Mike Karney's goals have always brought him back home to Kent.

Karney, a 2000 Kentwood High graduate, achieved those NFL dreams. The current St. Louis Ram fullback will be entering his seventh season in the NFL this fall. However, just as important to the former KW star is the fact that he achieved his goal back home, too.

That goal?

To establish a football camp for children that wasn't overpriced and would send a positive message.

Consider the mission accomplished. The 5-foot-11, 255-pound fullback — along with a host of other top-notch coaches — will be returning to French Field on Saturday (June 19) for the third-annual Karney's 44 Kids Camp. The camp has drawn roughly 200 up-and-coming football players between the ages of 8 and 16 in each of the last two years.

The camp is a way for Karney, who lives in Arizona but who plays in St. Louis, to give back to the community that gave him so much growing up.

“It was a goal of mine when I left in 2000 that I would start a football camp for kids,” Karney said. “I tell people all the time that when I left Kent, if I did make it to the NFL, I would come back and start a camp. It's about me achieving a goal. It's something I get to do every year, and something I really look forward to. I love coming back home and doing something positive for the community.”

One of the greatest strengths of the camp since its inception is the quality of instruction. Returning staff members include former Kentwood High and NFL players Ernie Conwell and Richard Thomas. Former Kentwood coach Tom Ingles and current Conk coach Rex Norris also are expected to be on hand, among others.

The camp also will have a handful of new coaches, including former Seattle Seahawk and current St. Louis Ram kicker Josh Brown.

“I am sure there are going to be kids there who want to learn how to kick,” Karney noted.

Other current NFL players expected to assist include Seattle's Owen Schmidt and St. Louis linebacker James Laurinaitis.

For more information on the camp, visit www.karney44foundation.org.


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