This past Friday, Belaire High School head coach Byron Wade along with some of the local football coaches and players in the Baton Rouge area went to Belaire High School. There, they put on a camp for kids four years old up to 13 years old. For Coach Wade, the day was about giving back to the local community and teaching the next generation the sport that has given so much back to him.
“It means everything. My focus is getting the community to understand that I am a high school coach and a lot of my time is consumed with conditioning high school students and athletes. I wanted to take one day out of the year and devote my time, my expertise, and knowledge to our babies. I consider them babies because they are innocent and they love to be involved in things, but today was a day of foundation work and wanting to plant positive seeds in trying to teach them things that will help them be ahead of the curve when they do get involved in organized team sports.”Belaire High School Head Coach Byron Wade
Coach Wade along with other local head coaches including Woodlawn’s Marcus Randall and Glen Oaks’ Anthony Jones also took time out of their schedule to help out the young kids, but it was not just the local coaches that got a lot of the day’s experiences, but several of Coach Wade’s players including two linemen from Woodlawn High School in center Dwayne Beverly and OL/DL Cedric May as well as Southern Lab High School 2024 linebacker Chase Square also did the same thing and came to help the younger kids. Being young kids themselves not too long ago, the high school players know more than anybody about what it means for older players to come and help teach the younger generation.
“It’s a blessing because in my younger years, there were many people coming out and helping us during camps like this. It’s a blessing.”Woodlawn High School 2025 center Dwayne Beverly
Coach Wade was also encouraged about some of the area’s most talented high school players volunteering and helping out with the camp.
It just lets me know that they are not only listening to my message, but their coach’s message. Being involved and giving back, engaging with kids that you don’t know is a big deal because a lot of times, we don’t realize who is paying attention to us. For those high school athletes to actually want to give back to our youth, it speaks volumes on how parents are raising them and just them understanding that they can make a positive influence on a stage where they have the platform to influence us. I am really proud of that.”Belaire High School Head Coach Byron Wade
Of course, Wade wants the kids to pick up some techniques that will help them as they grow older on the football field, but that was not the only thing he wanted the kids to take away from the day.
“Education is your ticket to success. I tell kids to get in a concert or to get in the movies, you need a ticket. If you don’t have a ticket, you can’t enter into the event. What does success mean? Success means a lifestyle that is going to allow me to live a good life. Education has to be a ticket to your success. Them understanding that has nothing to do with sports. We use sports to get their attention and then, we want to teach other things. That being the main thing. The second thing that I would like for these kids to take away is understanding that anybody wants to do something, but everybody is not willing to put in the work. Knowing the necessary work that it takes to achieve a goal and being able to put the work in is what I want them to take away.”Belaire High School Head Coach Byron Wade
There were close to 40 kids at the second annual Byron Wade Football Camp and Coach Wade believes that it was a huge overall success knowing that the kids got the chance to learn new things on and off the field.
“I will be very honest. A lot of NFL players come to their hometowns and do camps. That’s always been my apprehension, but my mission isn’t getting a certain amount of kids. My mission is to let anybody that follows me and knows of me that Byron Wade is setting aside one day in the summer to connect, teach, and enhance the youth so my mission was accomplished. The good Lord allowed for the weather to be beautiful for the second year in a row. I am excited about the aftermath, and brainstorming to make this a bigger situation. It is not just about me. They have a lot of guys and women that have a lot of influence in our community. If we can come together and unite, we could draw a bigger crowd and the mission would cover a lot more people. Today was a success and I am very proud.”Belaire High School Head Coach Byron Wade
Check out all of the highlights shot by William Strother from the Byron Wade Camp below! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to watch all of the latest videos from Gridiron Football!
Check out the photos taken by Jace LeJeune at the Byron Wade Camp. Feel free to download the photos, but make sure to give Gridiron Football credit for the photos!