ROCKINGHAM — Even though the event is two days away, there is still plenty of time to register for the fourth annual Dannell Ellerbe Football Camp.
The camp is set to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday on the practice football fields at Richmond Senior High School. The camp will run until 12:45 p.m.
Ellerbe’s first camp in 2012 drew a little over 150 children. The following year was the biggest in the camp’s brief history as more than 350 campers were in attendance despite the threat of rain throughout the morning. Ellerbe believes the influx can be attributed to him being a member of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
The jump in numbers forced Ellerbe and his wife, Shervella, to take a step back and re-assess the process after there were long lines at the registration tables and several participants didn’t receive T-shirts.
The pair believe things went better last year as members of the Richmond Beta Club were enlisted to assist at registration to help the nearly 200 campers make their way through the process.
With an eye on improving the experience, Shervella Ellerbe said this year campers will receive a bag at registration that will include a T-shirt and other goodies. She believes this will guarantee all participants receive T-shirts as well as help move things along at registration.
She added at last count earlier this week there were around 190 campers who have registered through the USA Football website. She expects several more who don’t have access to a computer to sign up on the practice fields Saturday morning.
Dannell Ellerbe emphasized for anyone who plans on registering the day of the camp that signups will begin at 8 a.m. He added he will once again have several of his high school and college teammates assisting him during the camp as well as some “players from the league.”
Shervella Ellerbe said there will be some relief for the campers’ parents from the 90-degree temperatures expected Saturday. Organizers have rented a 40-foot by 60-foot tent to provide a little shade.
In addition to the tent, camp organizers will be selling bottled water and other refreshments to the parents.
“We have also rented an Icee machine and a popcorn machine,” Shervella Ellerbe said. “Parents were asking us for water last year, but those are for the kids. A lot of parents would say ‘I’m coming back’ or they would grab their child and go because it was so hot.”
To enroll in this year’s camp, visit www.usafootball.com/fun. Under “Find a Clinic,” type Dannell Ellerbe into the search window. Click on “Register” when Ellerbe ’s camp information appears.
New users must create an account to register for the camp. All information must be completely filled out in order to process the registration. An email confirmation will be sent to the enrollees.
Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.