Tampa Bay lineman Davin Joseph works with South Plantation’s Gamal Stewart on Saturday at Hallandale High.
South Florida High School Sports .com
Hallandale Beach FL – Davin Joseph was back on the football field Saturday at Hallandale High, his alma mater.
Joining the 6-foot-3, 313-pound two-time National Football League Pro Bowl offensive guard from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were more than 100 high school offensive line-men and about 50 youth foot-ball players for his inaugural free football camp. Joseph, along with several local coaches, NFL teammates, and other guests, provided hands-on instruction and demonstrations during a four-hour clinic.
The athletes were treated to lunch and learned about proper nutrition and life skills. “I’m trying to get something started and do something for the offensive linemen in the South Florida area and not for profit, of course,” said Joseph, 28, a 2002 Hallandale graduate. “It is important to give back and I am hoping that this will allow other alumni to come and give back, whether it ‘s through student- athletics, performing arts, education or whatever form it is, to keep this school on the right track and improving.”
Joseph, who has started 83 of his 84 NFL games since being selected 23rd overall in the 2006 draft out of Oklahoma, said he didn’t have any camps like this when he was growing up. “A lot of camps down here are be-coming big business and you are taking away from the kids of having a positive experience in football,” Joseph said. “I am up for the challenge.” The camp was split into two groups – a youth football camp was held for ages 7-13, while the offensive lineman camp was for ages 14-17. “This is a great venue for Davin Joseph to do something like this,” said Ely coach Charles Hafley, one of several local high school coaches on hand. “It is an opportunity for our offensive linemen to get better. It all starts in the trenches.”
Ely senior offensive lineman Holly Dolcine said he woke up at 5 a.m. to make sure he was able to pick up his three team-mates and make it to Hallandale in time for the clinic. “This is a great camp,” said Dolcine, who said several colleges have expressed an interest in him, but he isn’t ready to make a decision. “This [camp] helps me with my footwork and gives me a chance to see who I will compete against. I want me and my teammates to get better and to get up early on the weekend and this shows we want to get better.”
South Plantation senior Gamal Stewart, 18, also enjoyed his experience. “This was pretty cool learning new things,” Stewart said. “You can’t beat it because of the cost and the NFL players being here. It was really nice the way they look out for us.” Hallandale Mayor Joy Cooper, whose husband, Dr. Harry Cooper, donated his time in providing physicals for the athletes, presented Joseph with a proclamation prior to the event. “The message that it sends to other players to come back to their hometown and give back to their community is wonderful,” said Cooper, who has been mayor for the past 10 years. “The significance of coming back to this community is that 92 percent of the children are on free or assisted lunches and to have an opportunity to have players like Davin come and show them how important community and team-work is, is important.” Joseph, a four-year starter for the Chargers at both guard and on the defensive line, was a two-time All State selection and national wrestling champion. He has had his Davin Joseph Events for A Cause Foundation for a little more than a year, but has high hopes for the camp. “I hope to one day fill this field up with offensive linemen,” Joseph said. “I think it will happen. I want to do two sessions and it will always be for free.”