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Irons brothers 'give back' with kids camp

Photo: Karl L. Moore  David Irons (R) helps Jamal Greenfield prior to a drill with Kenny Irons and participant Matthew Paolini while David Greenfield observes during the Iron Kids Football Camp Saturday at Dacula Park.

Photo: Karl L. Moore David Irons (R) helps Jamal Greenfield prior to a drill with Kenny Irons and participant Matthew Paolini while David Greenfield observes during the Iron Kids Football Camp Saturday at Dacula Park.

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Photo: Karl L. Moore Coach Marcus Ray works with Matthew Paolini on a speed and agility drill during the Iron Kids Football Camp Saturday at Dacula Park.

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Photo: Karl L. Moore Spencer Chapel, a current Cumberland University football player, gives some advice to Leiland Lavender during the Iron Kids Football Camp Saturday at Dacula Park.

DACULA -- Kenny Irons had a right to be bitter.

He was a standout at Dacula High School and Auburn University. He also had a promising career in the NFL after getting drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Things didn't work out exactly the way he hoped, but he isn't bitter. Instead, along with his brother David, Kenny is putting to use the tools he gained in college, working with the next generation of athletes. One of those ways is with the Iron Kids Football Camp, which was held Friday and Saturday at Dacula Park.

"We were both lucky to earn college scholarships to give us tools to succeed," Irons said. "We want to use those tools to give back to the community."

The brothers held a camp that had 30 sign up, but saw a few drop out due to the weather on Friday.

"Things happen, but we had a great group of kids we got to work with over the two days," Irons said.

The main thing the brothers taught the kids is that all sports can be fun, no matter your experience with it.

"We have a few kids out here who have never played football before," Irons said. "But they listened to what we were telling them to do and they began picking up things. They were having as much fun as the kids who have played the game before."

As part of the camp, Irons used time to talk to the kids about various topics, from doing the right thing in school to take responsibility for one's actions and getting out from in front of the television.

"There are so many things that can keep kids occupied today," Irons said. "From what's on the TV to the Xbox, there's a lot to distract kids.

"When I was with the Bengals, I was a big proponent of the NFL's Play 60 campaign. It's something that is needed by our youth. The childhood obesity rate in our country is growing because kids aren't getting out from in front of the electronics."

Irons also stressed education to the kids, something he said he's thankful for.

"There's so many people that come out of college with debt," he said. "My brother and I were able to get our education for free by playing football. We used the sport to get us ready for life after it ended."

Their work is something the pair are passionate about as they prepare to get the Iron Kids Foundation up and running.

"We want to specifically target kids from the lower and middle classes, especially the ones from single-parent homes," Irons said. "We want to be able to show them that you don't need to have a lot of money to be successful in life. All it takes is hard work and a good attitude."