Cougar football player tackles non-profit camp for kids SaturdayBy DOUG GORMAN
Newnan football player Tonarius Portress might just be a rising junior, but with 39 tackles, two touchdowns and an interception last season, he has already made a huge impact on the football field.
Despite those impressive numbers, he wants to be known for more than just his football heroics.
He will have a chance to do just that when he holds the first ever Vision Inc. football camp Saturday at the Central Education Center located at 160 Martin Luther King Drive. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The idea for the camp evolved while Portress was talking to his mother on the way home from a cookout.
During the event, several young boys were gravitating to the Newnan football star just to talk.
They were star struck to be around the local athlete, and Portress was excited about that, but told his mom he wanted to be known for more than just his accomplishments on the football field.
“I want them to know that football and sports are great, but academics and what they accomplish in the class room are just as important, maybe more important” he said.
The Cougars’ starting linebacker is proof you can excel at both. He heads to his junior year with a 3.5 grade point average.
The camp is open to young men in grades fourth to seventh. Campers are asked to bring two non-perishable food items for a donation to a local food bank.
“We want to make this an annual event,” he said. “Hopefully, we can help the local food banks out too.”
Portress hopes to reach the campers through a message that states education should come before athletics.
“This camp will be unlike any other. It will show what hard work and dedication, educational team work can do,” he said.
The camp is expected to feature several of Portress’ teammates and maybe a coach or two from the area.
First Vision Football Camp FAST FACTS
What: First Vision, Inc football camp, open to fourth through seventh graders
Host: Newnan starting linebacker Tonarius Portress
When: Saturday, May 5th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Central Education Center Field, 160 Martin Luther King Drive
Admission: Two non-perishable food items to be donated to local food bank