FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville State University head football coach Richard Hayes’s voice rings out at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium as he instructs a group of high school football players at his annual camp.
More than 100 athletes made their way to Fayetteville for the camp, some from as far away as New Bern and Havelock.
For Coach Hayes, this camp gives him a chance to go back in time when he was climbing his way up the coaching ladder.
“I got my career started coaching high school kids, I did it for about 15 years,” said the Broncos seventh year head coach. “I’ve never lost my love for high school kids.”
And it showed as he moved from station to station taking the time to instruct the young campers. Hayes and his coaches stressing the importance of fundamentals.
“We’re not trying to change what they’ve learned at their particular high schools,” Hayes explained. “We’re just trying to assure them of some of the fundamentals to certain positions.”
And who knows, there just might be a hidden gem among the campers who could one day suit up for the Broncos.
“We recruit, that’s our number one life-line,” Hayes admitted. “These are mostly ’23, ’24 kids (graduating classes 2023 and 2024) and we’ve got a good chance to look at these kids and watch them move around and see who best fits Fayetteville State.”
And while just a few of the athletes on display at the camp will never suit up in college, Hayes knows that’s not what’s most important.
“We’re a small community, us and Methodist are the only two schools here that play college football,” said Hayes. “We’re just trying to do our part and give back to the community.”