GUSTINE -  During the annual OLM Spring Festival event local resident Nick Ventura and his family friend, former NFL player Ted Popson, donated as an auction item a football conditioning camp for a dozen players.

Last Friday morning, the former gridder conducted the camp at Our Lady of Miracles School for a dozen players.

Popson, who played for the 49ers from 1994-96 and was with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1997-98, remembers what it was like being in the kids’ shoes at one point and just falling in love with the game. His goal, he commented, was to simply show the youngsters the basics of football without pressure or expectation.

“If they’re not having fun, then what’s the point?” Popson said “I just want to teach these kids the basics and have them enjoy the game.” 

During the duration of the camp Popson worked on running routes, footwork, and catching the football as a receiver.

His love for the game and interest in sharing that passion was evident during the camp.

“I really don’t want them to lose love for the game” Popson told Mattos Newspapers. “So if I can prepare them with just this little time I have (with them) and they can take something from it, then I’m happy.”