Texans Give Back To Their Community

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: June 26, 2008

Houston TexansHOUSTON — A few days ago, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and teammate DeMeco Ryans hosted the “First and Ten Youth Football Mini-Camp” for 250 Houston area kids at Butler Stadium.

Kids, aged 6-15, had a fun-filled day working out with NFL players from the Houston Texans in the hot, baking sun. Most of the kids in attendance were from area Boys and Girls Clubs and local area YMCA’s.

Johnson, Ryans and several of their Texans teammates came out to lend a hand with the camp. Walter Dunson, the CEO of Global Youth Sports Management and his team of coaches came out to help run the camp.

Johnson gave the campers words of inspiration at the beginning of the camp, then he and Ryans jogged one lap around the track with the kids before they split up in stations.

Teammates DB Fred Bennett, CB Dunta Robinson, and LB Morlon Greenwood also helped to run drills at various stations.

“These are some of the same drills that we run in practice that we’re teaching the kids,” Greenwood said. “I’m happy to see both Andre and DeMeco doing this. It just goes to show you what type of people they really are.”

Campers were paired against each other in teams according to their age groups. This created a fun way for the kids to work out.

“We all wanted to do something in the community this offseason,” Johnson said. “Instead of doing individual things, we just decided to come together and do one big event.”

Johnson and Ryans as well as several other Texans players are no strangers when it comes to doing things in the community. Last fall, they came together to donate turkeys with all the trimmings for Thanksgiving.

This project was done in conjunction with HEB.

Ryans, who returned to Alabama later this week to host a Celebrity Weekend in his hometown had a lot of fun watching the kids compete.

“There is a need for this and for players such as ourselves to come out and interact with the kids,” Ryans said. “I personally did not have anything like this when I was growing up. I’m glad that we’re in position to make an impact on these young kids lives.”

Despite the typical Houston heat, the kids looked forward to the breaks for cool water, ice , and Gatorade. Smiles were on every kids face, but there were bigger ones on the big kids.

“To see 250 kids out here in this heat at this camp is great,” Johnson said. “Hopefully they will take the things that they learned and apply it to their workouts and focus on being more healthly.”

“I told them instead of playing video games, come outside and workout. Their health depends on it!”