Former Enterprise High School standout T.J. Barnes was at Bates Memorial Stadium on Saturday to host his second football camp.
A current National Football League player, Barnes is a member of the Carolina Panthers and brings a wealth of pro-level experience due to his NFL stops with the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
A total of 62 players attended the T.J. Barnes Youth Skills Camp, which sent players through a variety of position-based offensive and defensive drills and covered football fundamentals. Players were also provided lunch, and the camp concluded with some 7-on-7 flag football.
Most notably, the camp was absolutely free.
Barnes said removing the cost was a way to make sure all kids were included, regardless of financial situations.
“I wanted to offer this for free so that there’s really no excuse for kids not to be able to come out and have fun,” Barnes said. “Some people are put in better situations than others, but this is not cutting off anyone.”
Barnes was joined by several camp coaches who are no stranger to the gridiron, including Enterprise greats Randy Hart, Dexter Hart, Maurice Hicks, Granison Wagstaff, Cade Stinnett and Barnes’s father Terry Jones.
The inaugural T.J. Barnes Youth Skills camp was held in 2016. There were some stoppages, Barnes said, but plans are to make the camp a yearly occurrence.
The second camp doubled in size from the first, which had just over 30 kids, according to Barnes.
Ultimately, Barnes said the goal is to get players to have fun at the camps and enjoy the sport.
“The fact that anybody came out here -- I’m happy to see them,” he said. “The past two years we had a few stoppages, but now we’ve got in with the right people and we were able to get everything situated so we’re ready to go.”