LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Former Lufkin Panther standout Rex Hadnot is finalizing plans for his annual youth football camp. The camp is next month and it is free to area youth who sign up. The NFL standout has said it is one way he stays connected to his East Texas roots.
Built on a promise, the Rex Hadnot free summer football youth camp is entering its fifth year.
"I remember it being like a Bible verse, like a little seed, and we would talk and he said if he made it he wanted me to come to a ball game and I said, 'nall, I'd like to see you do a camp,' and he said, 'if I make it we're going to make this happen,' and so far he's been living up to his word on it," said LHS Coach Tommy Earley and mentor to Hadnot.
Earley and several members of the Lufkin High School coaching staff volunteer as coaches for the camp. "It's very rewarding for Rex, for the kids, and for us."
The Rex Hadnot camp draws some 200 campers each year and is growing as local communities get more and more involved. Participants range in age from 6 to 18 and on camp day Hadnot is right in the middle of the bunch.
"The camp was founded on the premise of being a good experience, positive experience for the less fortunate kids, the ones who couldn't afford to go to camp and experience a different side of life," said Earley.
While navigating through many challenges in his own career, Hadnot has not faulted on his promise. He will be back in East Texas on June 23. "It's from 9 to noon and if nothing else it's a day away from babysitting or I want to go to the mall, or I want to do this, I want to do that. On a positive note, the kids will be well entertained. They get to work. They get a good experience and most of all it's free," said Earley.
Youth can sign up at the Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Lufkin. You may also register on the day of the camp, however, in order to receive a camp t-shirt you need to complete the registration by June 18.
Hadnot was drafted in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft. He has played professional football for the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. This season he begins a new start with the San Diego Chargers.