Cannon senior project: football camp for kids

Jason Willix was ready for his football camp to begin.

Even though the weather on a recent Saturday had forced him to move his drills indoors, he was determined that his free instructional football camp for area youth would go on as planned.

More than 65 campers, ages 5 to 18, came to listen and practice as local football players and coaches instructed them in the fundamentals of the game.

It was easy to see that Jason, a senior at Cannon School, enjoyed ordering around his coaches, parents, brother and other local football players as he designated duties and drills for everyone.

After leading the group in stretching exercises, Jason kicked into high-energy mode, directing campers in the various age and position groups around the drill stations in the two gyms at Cannon.

As the groups rotated he would run to the second gym, announce rotation and lead his next group back to the first gym in a jog.

He paid personal attention to every camper and made sure the younger ones stayed hydrated.

The campers' skills visibly improved. When 6ix-year-old Kadein Porter caught a regulation-size football that seemed too big for his little hands, his face shone with delight in the accomplishment.

This football camp was part of Jason's Senior Capstone Project, which he had planned for months.

Jason has been playing football since he was 7 and has known his mentor Earnest Bostick for most of that time. Jason spent between 30 and 40 hours planning the event, meeting formally with his mentor five times and checking in with him for short questions numerous times.

He arranged for the coaches and players, reserved the location, secured the needed equipment and planned the drills.

Jason, son of George and Sandy Willix, has signed to play football at Stetson University, where he will study sports management .