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Immokalee football camp at high school hosted by star alumni

Four football players once called Immokalee High School their home turf.

JC Jackson just won the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. Mackensie Alexander plays for the Minnesota Vikings. Deadrin Senat plays for the Atlanta Falcons. And D’Ernest Johnson looks to earn a spot on the Clevland Browns.

In an unprecedented weekend, all four athletes returned to the playing surface in Immokalee to host a youth football camp for kids in the area.

Immoklaee often gets overlooked, so the plight of the community is convincing youth that it’s OK to dream big. And overloading that turf with a quartet of football star power is a great way to do that.

“It’s always good to come back home, especially where you grew up from,” Jackson said. “The same high school. It’s always good to come back and give back to the kids and community.”

“Instead of doing every individualized, let’s have fun together,” Mackenzie said. “I’m at that stage in my life where teamwork makes the dream work. It’s better that way, and we’re all from the same town so we all need to strive to be together and empower people together.”

And Southwest Florida football players working together is a beautiful thing. The Immokalee four decided two weeks ago they needed help, so they looked to Tommy Bohanon, North Fort Myers High School alumnus and Jacksonville Jaguars player.

He and his wife Katy were more than happy to oblige.

“When these guys called us needing a sponsor for their football camp, we were super excited to be able to come out and help out this part of the community that we haven’t touched yet,” Bohanon said. “We want to put together something that helps out all of Southwest Florida not just North Fort Myers, where we’re from.”

In other news: De’Vondre Campbell, Atlanta Falcons linebacker and Cypress Lake High School alumnus, held his camp in Lee County for the third year this weekend.

Not the mos touted guy out of high school, Campbell started off in junior college before attending University of Minnesota.

His message to kids every year: Your pathway doesn’t have to be the most glamorous to end in success.

“I went to junior college with blind faith. I just knew I was good enough to play at the next level, and I needed an opportunity, and that’s what I try to explain to kids all the time,” Campbell said. “If you’re good enough to play, you’re good enough to play anywhere.”

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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