HAMPTON, Va. - Carl Francis and Vernon Lee, Jr. said "We'll do just one camp"...in 1997. Here they are in July 2016 still putting on the Hampton Roads All-Star camp. Ask anyone that's attended the camp, and they'll tell you that it's one of the highlights of their summer. "20 years later, 7,000 kids later, and we're still here," Francis says.
The mission for the Hampton Roads Youth Foundation has been to plant a seed, and create the bridge between on the field lessons, and off the field. They've had players like Tyrod Taylor grow up in their camp, and now come back to lend a hand. "Discipline, hard work, they sound like words, they sound cliche, but all those things are life lessons," Lee says.
Former Denbigh High and William & Mary star Mike Tomlin came back for his 8th annual meet and greet in conjunction with the camp. He's excited to share his recipe for success with the kids. "It's not a mystical formula, it's a regular formula," Tomlin says. The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach grew up under the guidance of local legends like "Pooh Jones, Tommy Reamon, Sr, and Napoleon Jones". He says they're the reason he's where he is now. "They were the walking, talking blueprints for me, not only for me, but for us."