Myles Brinson Youth Clinic teaches the game, life lessons,
GILROY – The Myles Brinson Youth Fundamental Football Camp is about a lot more than just learning how to become a sound football player.
Each camper, each coach, each parent is a part of something special – something close to the hearts of the entire Brinson Family. It’s about strong family values. It’s about cherishing each moment we have on this earth. It’s about respecting thy elders. But most of all, it’s about praising the spirit of Myles Brinson – who so yearned to play the game of football.
The loss of their eight-year-old son to leukemia on May, 10, 2002 was a big blow – as it would be to any loving family. But the second annual football clinic – hosted by a dedicated Christian family at Gilroy High School – is a week-long tutorial helping all involved to never take for granted the simple things in life. The simple things like playing the game of football. Because there are others who never had the chance.
“God is good,” said Marlowe Brinson, a proud father whose smile shined all afternoon long under the sun during Tuesday’s two and a half hour session. “We’re out here for the kids. We’re teaching kids to learn to appreciate the game, to appreciate just being out here. Myles couldn’t do this and that’s what he wanted most.”
But the spirit of Myles Brinson is alive and strong in each of his memorialized football clinic’s participants – who share his same passion for football – and coaches – who volunteer their time to assist local youngsters – and parents – who cherish each moment of their growing children.
“I was very honored because out of all the sports my son wanted to be able to play football. It’s a sport he never had the chance to play. He always wanted to play on a football team,” said Sherida Brinson, a mother who remembers signing her son up for Pop Warner shortly before his passing. “To me it’s an honor. He would be so proud to have something like this.”
Seventy-five youth football players – both boys and girls – are treated to five days of fundamental football drills – both offense and defense – from coaches who care about teaching the true meaning of the game along with life lessons.
“The community needed it,” said Lovell ‘K.C.’ Adams, Marlowe’s brother who is a 20-year veteran youth football coach. “It is for his memory. My nephew always wanted to play football.”
Each camper learns every position on offense and defense – “they all play lineman, they all play quarterback, they all play running back,” K.C. said. And at camp’s end each camper knows every position on the football field from both sides.
“I think it’s great that all the kids come out and support the camp. I personally enjoy it,” said Ashley Brinson, 14, Myles’ sister and incoming Gilroy High freshman who was one of several girls partaking in the youth clinic. “It’s conditioning for cheerleading and dancing.”
For nine-year-old Marcel Brinson, his brother’s camp is training for the upcoming Pop Warner football season.
“It’s fun because it gets me ready for football,” said Marcel, a fourth-grader who played under his father on last year’s Gilroy Browns Mighty Mights team.
Area youngsters can still join the fun and sign up for the Myles Brinson Fundamentals Football Camp – which runs until Friday – by calling Sherida Brinson at 846-5918.
“It’s my joy,” said Marlowe of the camp. “I enjoy kids. I enjoy sharing things with them that I know. All the coaches teach the basic fundamentals of the game. We’re teaching the kids to appreciate not only the game, but appreciate each other and appreciate their parents.”
Before the start of Monday’s first session, the Brinson’s pastor blessed the camp as he will on the final day.
“That kinda really set the foundation for our camp,” Sherida said.
The opening day also brought out a special guest speaker, Dr. Allen Wong, who was Myles’ pediatric oncologist at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara. Dr. Wong gave a moving, inspirational speech to the campers – telling them about the fighter that Myles was and how fortunate they are to be able to just run through the drills. The guest speaker on Wednesday will be 49ers’ Randy Kirk and a police SWAT Team member is also scheduled to talk with the kids on Thursday.
Everything about the camp is based on the words of Myles Brinson. There is a ‘Bad Dude Area’ – where the group giving the strongest effort gets to sit during water breaks. At the end of each day, two campers are selected as the day’s Bad Dudes and are awarded a T-Shirt.
“They really have to earn it,” said Marlow of the ‘Bad Dude’ Award.
The saying ‘Bad Dude’ is something that Marlowe and his son shared during Myles extended chemotherapy and other treatments that never took the fight out or drive out of him. Marlowe would say, ‘You’re a bad dude’, no matter the circumstance, and Myles would always answer, ‘You ain’t lieing.’
“Myles came up with this. I really believe Myles put on this camp. That was his destiny. Everything about our set-up is what Myles wanted,” said Marlowe, who brought a picture of Myles down to the camp so everyone knows exactly who he is. “His spirit lives through every kid here.”
After rotating to each of the stations, the campers start clapping and then one of the coaches shouts, “1-2-3” – which is followed by a group shout of “Myles”.