College players, young pupils make for growing Lyon-Good Football Camp
By Marvin Birchfield


   The 7th Annual Lyon-Good Youth Football Camp took place on Saturday at the Boys/Girls Club in Johnson City, which featured several collegiate athletes trying to improve the skills of our local youth.
   "We had a great turnout this year, and they were kids all the way from Mountain City to Morristown," said camp director Bart Lyon.
   Along with the kids that made the travel, several student athletes made the trip from different colleges.
   "We were really excited about it for the kids got to spend some time with athletes from Tennessee, Carson Newman, ETSU, Tusculum and East Carolina," said Lyon.
   "Without these student athletes there is no way we could have such a great event."
   The camp ranges from ages 5-12, and has vastly grown since its inception seven years ago.
   "The first year that we had the camp we had 12 kids, and now it has grown to 76, and I couldn't be more pleased with the community, surrounding schools, and parents," said Lyon.
   Some of the top names working in this year's camp were Tennessee's defensive tackle and former Science Hill star Aubrayo Franklin, along with offensive lineman Jason Respert.
   "I just like working with little kids, and it gives me a chance to give something back to the community," said Franklin.
   Franklin says the camp gives him a good opportunity to come back and visit family and friends, plus it gives people who don't know him a chance to.
   Franklin is a senior and has seen limited playing time at UT, due to some of the great defensive lineman we have seen for the past several season, but this year just might be his opportunity to shine.
   "Our defensive line has been the talk of concern, but we have eight players that are ready to play, and they could for anybody else in the SEC," said Franklin.
   "Last year I spent a lot of time learning the system, and this year I expect to get a lot of playing time and possibly start."
   Respert, a teammate to Franklin, was a starter last season for the Vols, but a tear to a ligament in his ankle in the first game with LSU sidelined him for the rest of the season.
   "Me and Mike are going to be side by side this year, and we're both ready, and I'm excited and anxious for this season," said Respert.
   As far as the camp goes, Respert said he was pleased with how things went.
   "I had a lot of fun, and I like dealing with kids in messing around and making them laugh, so we did a lot of that today," said Respert.
   Another athlete that gave his time and effort in teaching what he knows was ETSU place-kicker Jonathan Godfrey.
   "It's good to come out here for the kids, and give back to the community in what they have given to me," said Godfrey.
   Godfrey has participated in different camps prior, and he says he really likes doing local ones.
   "I've done several of these camps before, but I really enjoy this one because it's in Johnson City, and I like giving back to the Tri-Cities area," said Godfrey.
   Godfrey says that everybody at ETSU is looking forward to showing a strong performance this season, which in return will hopefully create a better fan base.
   A name to look for this season in Division 1-A at the wide-receiver position is first-year player Bryson Bowling.
   This Science Hill star will attempt to make his impact on the traditionally sound team of East Carolina.
   "I'm excited going over there, and it always seems that they are just one or two games away from having an incredible season," says Bowling.
   With threatening skies producing rain, which seemed to maybe hamper the event, it was not an issue for all the guys who participated in helping those develop fundamentals.
   "It was great today. All the kids were out there having fun, and I just wished I would had the opportunity to come to something like this when I was their age," said Bowling.
   It is great when you have people in the community, that are willing to go that extra step to provide our youth with the intuition that will better themselves in making their stand toward the future.
   Bart Lyon and John Good are just a couple to mention who are doing what it takes to see that dream come true.
   "I just want to thank all the parents who brought their kids. The enjoyment they had showed on their faces, and that is what it's all about, the kids," said Good.