The annual Johnson’s All-Heart Football Camp will return to the Buena Vista High School football field Saturday, June 29.

Nate Solder, offensive tackle for the New York Giants, is the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL, a two-time Super Bowl champion. He started his athletic career at BVHS.

For the third year, he’ll be giving back to his hometown community by bringing in some of his football friends to run a one-day camp of training drills with local kids.

This year, Solder himself will be unable to participate in the drills as he is undergoing rehabilitation from a recent surgery on his ankle and preparing for his upcoming season with the Giants, he said.

Without Solder, no NFL players will likely be participating as coaches this year as in years past, he said.

“This year, without me being there it made it a little more difficult to get those guys there,” Solder said.

Jack Harris, a teammate of Solder’s while the two were playing for the University of Colorado, will coordinate camp events.

“We’ll have some great coaches there from the University of Colorado,” Solder said. “A lot of my friends who were great enough to support this camp and me while I could not be there,” Solder said.

The 2019 Johnson’s All-Heart Football Camp will be broken down into two three-hour sessions: the morning runs from 8-11 a.m. for those entering the third-through sixth grades this fall, with the afternoon camp set for 12-3 p.m. for those entering the seventh-through 12th grades. All positions and skill levels are welcome.

Proceeds from the camp benefit the Johnson’s All-Heart award, given every year to a high school assistant coach in the state who is not only involved with kids during sports, but also invests time outside the season of sports in helping develop successful young adults. The award is named for the Johnson family.

In 2013, Dwayne and Dawna Johnson, both coaches at BVHS, were killed in a rock slide near Agnes Vaille Falls along with their daughter and two nieces.

The award goes to a coach “who exemplifies what the Johnson family was all about,” Solder said. “Their commitment to kids, their sacrifice for sports and academics and being great people.”

“I have really enjoyed coordinating this camp in the Colorado high country,” Solder said in the news release. “It has proven to be a fun day, with several friends dating back from my high school days through the present helping to teach the kids. I believe everyone who has participated the first two years have had a great experience along with having a lot of fun learning more about the game of football.”

“I have a great connection to Buena Vista and Buena Vista High School and fond memories of playing sports there,” Solder said. The camp is his effort to provide his hometown with “any small way that I can give back to the kids of the community and kids from all over the state.”

The cost to attend the camp is just $25 if registered by June 23, and includes instruction and a camp T-shirt. After that date, walk-ups will be accepted the day of the camp for $40. To register or for more information, please email bvfootballcamp@gmail.com.

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