EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) — A football camp with a purpose is happening Saturday, June 25. Derrick Canteen is holding his 2nd Annual Free Football Camp at Evans High School. He has a desire to mentor young men and wants to pay it forward to the youth in his hometown.

Canteen joined weekend Good Morning Augusta anchor Shawn Cabbagestalk to talk about it.

Shawn:
So the event is happening today. Tell me a little bit about the football camp.

Derrick:
The football camp is focused on the youth around the area. We have a camp focused on youth around the area ages from eight to 17. It’s just targeting the local players to get them involved, playing football, and trying to influence them and inspire them the best we can.

Shawn:
This is the second time that you’re having this event. So you told me before you only had kids before and now you’re having kids and teens. So why are you adding the different …

Derrick:
Last year it was kind of, a hustle. We only had like a week or two to prepare for the camp because college football, the name image likeness came out so late that we didn’t have much time to prepare. So this year we had more time to prepare and get everything in order. So we wanted to have a kids camp for the youth and also a teens camp for, you know, high school ages of high school, so they can get involved also.

Shawn:
You kind of touched on this before. So why was it so important for you to have these camps, to mentor young men or young children and, you know, kind of showed them a different aspect other than, you know, just being a football player?

Derrick:
Well, the whole focus was to give them what I didn’t have and, you know, growing up a lot of the times for me to get recruited and for me to get in contact with college coaches and Scouts like that, I had to go to Atlanta or, you know, little places like, uh, or other places like Warner Robbins, or other places outside of Augusta. So I wanted to bring something home for the local players and inspire them because growing up, I didn’t see many NFL or college football players from this area face to face. Like, I didn’t know any personally, so I just wanted to put players like that, like myself and other players in their faces and show them that it’s possible to make it from Augusta.

Shawn:
So why do you think that those scouts would go to somewhere like Atlanta, as opposed to coming here to Augusta?

Derrick:
It’s just a bigger market in the football world. Um, you have schools, great schools. That’s just known for football and their talent. And we, I feel like Augusta has the same talent, but it’s all about the exposure when it comes to that level. And they’re just known to go to these bigger markets not only schools but cities. So that’s why I want to do the best I can to make Augusta one of these cities.

Shawn:
If folks wanna check you out on social media or things of that nature, what’s your social media handle?

Derrick:
On Instagram, it’s Canteen, but replacing the, “A” with an “X”. So _cxnteen

Shawn:
We’ll definitely make sure we have that as well. Anything else you wanna share with us about the camp?

Derrick:
So I can get everyone involved and I don’t want anyone to miss it. It’s a totally free camp, donations are optional. (CashApp: $DerrickCanteen)

Shawn:
We love free.

Derrick:
Yes, sir. But I just wanted to make it free so that there’s no problem with anyone coming because again, the focus is to inspire and it’s not about money or anything like that. It’s just, that I wanna do the best I can to give back.

Shawn:
I like that. So it’s just open to boys or boys and girls if girls play football?

Derrick:
It’s open to boys and girls actually last year we had one girl and hopefully today we get more involved, but it is boys and girls because, you know, I just feel like football is a game that everyone should be able to enjoy.

Shawn:
Absolutely. Again the event is today at Evans High School registration for kids starts at eight and for teens is at 12. Derrick, thank you for joining me today

Derrick:
Yes, sir.