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Eric Stokes and Sheldon Rankins return to host football camp at Sharp Stadium
Eric Stokes camp
Eric Stokes completes a sprint drill with youth campers. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News


Stokes and Rankins
Eastside alums Eric Stokes, of the Green Bay Packers, and Sheldon Rankins, of the Houston Texans, chat it up before the start of the Eastside Eagles' youth football camp. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. – The Eastside Eagles football program hosted a youth camp at Sharp Stadium Wednesday afternoon with the help of two former Eagles.

Eastside alumni and current NFL pros Eric Stokes and Sheldon Rankins stopped by to help the coaches and current players with the camp.

The camp was free to enter and was held for kids in kindergarten all the way to 7th grade.

For Stokes, organizing camps like these is something he sees himself doing with the Eagles for many years to come.

“I wanted to join with [Sheldon], we wanted to do this with our high school to set up a camp for everyone,” Stokes said. “This is my first camp; this is going to be our test run so we can come back and make it even better next year.”

Like Stokes, Rankins saw this camp as an opportunity to show kids in Covington that having the desire to play professional sports is something that is possible for all of them.

“It shows that dreams are truly attainable, when I was here, I had the dream of wanting to play in the NFL, and I am on year eight right now which is crazy to think about,” Rankins said. “It is about showing the kids that there is no such thing as dreaming too big.”

Following the event, Stokes spoke about how much participating in the camp in his hometown meant to him and how he views giving back.

“It is very important [to give back] because my community made me,” Stokes said. “If it was notfor all the people I met on the day to day it would not have happened. Being able to give back is a blessing to me.”

Iverson at camp
The Eagles' assistant head football coach and offensive coordinator, Frankey Iverson, goes over instructions with campers. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

This story will be featured in the July 15-16 weekend print edition.