Gholson Football Gets a Lesson From NFL Pros

GHOLSON (May 21, 2013) -- The city of Gholson doesn't get many visitors.

A few stop signs are the only thing keeping people from passing right through town.

"We're a small city and most people don't come," Gholson freshman Deavid Smith said.

"I don't think there would be anybody coming out here," Gholson eighth grader Cameron McCartney said.

Which is why, the Gholson football couldn't believe that five NFL players were coming to town.

"I thought, there's no way," Gholson eighth grader Noah Jewell said.

"They were like, no, no, no way are they going to come here," Gholson assistant coach Reese Goates said.

But they did come. Thanks, in large part to Gholson native Mickey Petty, who works with NFL players north of Dallas.

"I realized I need to give back to this community I came from…I hope to give them a vision of something beyond where they're at today," Petty said.

But this wasn't going to be an ordinary football camp.

Many of the Gholson players have never played football, mainly because the city hasn't had a high school or a team since the 1930s.

"I would bet over 80 percent of the players, NFL, grew up in areas like this, rural areas. So for myself, it's kinda where I'm from," NFL defensive end Demetric Evans said.

"I see myself in these kids," NFL safety Charlie Peprah said. "You just want to let them know that it doesn't matter where you're at, what your situation is, you can make it wherever you want to make it to."

"I, at that age, never really got the chance for someone to come by and pass on that knowledge to me until I got older, so for me to be able to do that for these kids means a lot," NFL defensive lineman James Cannida said.

Last season, the team's first in 80 years, they finished 1-7. But with a little help from some NFL stars, the Wildcats know the future is bright.

"The younger kids are real excited about football and athletics around here and we're hoping it will grow," Gholson head coach Keith Beverly said.

"It's going to help us get better. It's going to help us how quick we are," McCartney said.

"We want them to see that their dreams are attainable, their goals are attainable and hopefully we can do that for them," Peprah said.

And if the Wildcats can play football like their NFL instructors, then pretty soon, visitors will have a good reason to stop in Gholson.

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