How many parents would love to have their children train with an NFL Super Bowl champion? That became a reality for many families participating in the Vereen Playmakers Camp.
“Each year the excitement has grown more and more. Just to have all the kids out really enjoying football, the fun part,” said Shane Vereen. “This is the most ‘amped’ camp yet.”
Established three years ago by Super Bowl champion and Valencia High School graduate Shane Vereen, the co-ed camp gives children ages 6 to 13 a place to drill and dream with the pros. The event benefits Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in memory of the Vereen’s next-door neighbor, David Stroud, who died of cancer at 19. As a family affair, brothers Shane and Brock Vereen continue to host the event each June at Valencia High School.
“This is my second year with the camp,” said Brock Vereen. “If at the end of the day they got a good sweat going, if they can say they had fun, if they can say they can learn something, I think we did our job.”
Both Shane and Brock were born and raised in Santa Clarita, attending local elementary schools and graduating from Valencia High School. Shane became Santa Clarita’s first Super Bowl champion in 2015, playing with the New England Patriots. He currently is a running back with the New York Giants. Brock now plays for the Patriots. Today, the brothers are giving back to their hometown, inspiring kids on and off the field.
“Be a pro. I want to be a pro so I want to know the work ethic,” said Jacob, age 12.
One hundred fifty-five campers and scores of Valencia High football alumni braved torrid temperatures for the 3-hour camp, ready with plenty of water, Kona Ice and medical staff standing by. Boys and girls enjoyed the co-ed camp, learning drills and executing plays for 7-on-7 games. All of the children had their own ideas of what they wanted to retain from their day with the pros.
“Not just scoring touchdowns,” said 13-year-old Corben, a returning camper. “Just to get along with your teammates.”
First timers had personal goals in mind. When asked why he came to the camp, 6- year-old Michael responded simply, “to tackle people.”
Nick, a young camper, confirmed the experience when asked what he learned. “How to tackle and throw the ball.”
Parents perceived other benefits from the camp.
“Having the experience of the Vereen brothers here to help is just amazing,” said Annette Heinrich. “They come off the field exhausted but it’s an awesome day for them.”
“It feels great. I have three kids here today. I see them come alive in ways I didn’t see them come alive before,” said Wendell Trotter.
The day was a win-win for all participants. Valencia High Head Football Coach Larry Muir facilitated the event with alumni, staffers, students and booster club members. Silent auction items included autographed NFL jerseys by Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz.
“As a program, to partner with Shane and Brock, they came from us and went through our program. It’s literally a partnership,” said Muir.
An official NFL golden football was sent to the school in honor of Shane Vereen’s Super Bowl history-making accomplishments. The golden football will remain encased inside the school to inspire future generations.
“It just means a lot that they would give up their time and all this effort. It’s a great event for the community,” said Ryan Hibbard, associate director of the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “I can already tell the kids are having a great time, so we are very, very thankful.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to the David Stroud fund. For more information or to donate to the fund, visit valenciavikingsfootball.com.
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Yair Haimoff, SIOR, and Andrew Ghassemi of Spectrum Commercial Real Estate, are pleased to have represented the seller in the recent sale of this ±4,828-square-foot office/flex condo in a prime Valencia location.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is cautioning residents who are planning to visit several Los Angeles County beaches near Dockweiler and El Segundo to be careful of swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.