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BUILDING THEIR CHARACTER: Castille camp teaches more than just football

There were more than 200 students that showed up Friday morning to participate in Jeremiah Castille’s Character Camp at Andalusia High School.

In partnership with the Covington County Children’s Policy Council Coalition and Andalusia High School, Castille put on free camp for local students to attend.

“We had a great turnout,” Castille said. “I really like the age range that we have.”

Castille is the team chaplain for the University of Alabama football team and has been running the camp for the past 10 years.

“It just a way for me to give back,” Castille said. “It let’s me give back to these younger kids the same way that someone did for me when I was there age.”

The camp not only teaches the kids how to become better players, but better people in general.

“Our main goal is the help develop and instill good character,” Castille said. “It’s very important for these kids understand the importance of character and we just use football as a vehicle to spread the message.”

Along with Castille, several former Alabama and Auburn players helped put on the drill, including Jeremiah’s sons Tim and Simeon.

“A lot of these guys have been with me since we started 10 years ago,” Castille said. “These are guys that I got to know as the team chaplain and guys who truly believe in giving all the glory to God.”

Throughout the camp, the campers participated in several different drills and also listened to the coaches, who were constantly teaching and stressing the importance of having good character.

“It doesn’t matter what you do with you life, if you don’t have character you won’t make it,” Castille said. “You can get to highest position in your field, but if you don’t have character it is going to eventually come out. You must be in constant pursuit of character.”

Castille shared some stories about himself with the kids and told them they each have a choice in how their lives turn out.

“A man with character has confidence and a man with confidence has courage,” Castille said. “You have to have the courage. Too many men have shed their blood for this country for you to decide to grow up and be a loser. Anybody can be a loser and anybody can quit. That doesn’t make you special. You have to commit to something and staying with that decision even when the feeling that you had when you made it is long gone.”

Castille said plan on coming back Andalusia for another camp next summer.

“We are probably going to be coming back next year and we will change it to a Saturday,” Castille said. “If we have it on Saturday, I will be able to bring current players as well.”

More than 200 kids participated in Jeremiah Castille’s Character Camp on Friday at Andalusia High School.
Josh Dutton/Star-News