Kazoo Joins NFL Stars At Josh Sitton Pro Camp

273 local youth football players participate in sixth annual camp

Kazoo with pro football players (L-R) Jordy Nelson, Ryan Taylor, Domenik Hixon, Fred Robbins, Ahtyba Rubin, and Josh Sitton. (Bill Vilona)

By Bill Vilona, Senior Writer / Pensacola Blue Wahoos | March 6, 2019 3:43 PM

In various ways, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos helped impact the sixth annual Josh Sitton Youth Pro Camp presented by Studer 55 Community Athletics.

The four-hour event March 2 featured Kazoo out on the field at Pensacola Catholic's Gorecki-LeBeau Stadium, engaging with the youth football players and celebrity instructors.

Several members of the Blue Wahoos front office had a tent set up at the gate's entrance, passing out information on the upcoming baseball season.

The weather was warm. Spirits were high. Five players with Super Bowl championship rings were helping encourage and inspire 273 area football players.

"Anytime we can get those type of numbers it's going to be a good day," said Sitton, a Catholic High and University of Central Florida graduate, who is entering his 12th NFL season.

"We are not just teaching football stuff," Sitton said. "We want them to learn some life lessons.

"If we can teach one kid to follow his dreams and be passionate about something then we are doing something good."

Sitton was joined by fellow Pensacola natives Ahtyba Rubin, now with the Oakland Raiders and Fred Robbins, retired after a 12-year NFL career at defensive tackle and Super Bowl title with the New York Giants.

Also joining them was Domenik Hixon, a former teammate with Robbins and two-time Super Bowl champ with the Giants, who three years ago moved to Pensacola.

Along with the four players with local ties, Sitton brought in Jordy Nelson, former Green Bay Packers star receiver and NFL Comeback Player of the Year, who is now with the Oakland Raiders and former Packers tight end Ryan Taylor.

Dave Wilson, director of Studer 55 Community Athletics, part of the Studer Family Of Companies, led the instruction and ensured the camp ran smoothly.

"This is a treat for me," said Wilson, former high school coach in Pensacola, who went on to be an assistant coach at several colleges and then director of player personnel for the former Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League.

It was the first of Sitton's camps in joint partnership with Studer 55 Community Athletics, the Blue Wahoos and team owner Quint Studer, who visited with the coaches and organizers at the event.

Thanks to Studer's generosity, it was a free camp for the kids. Lunch was provided at no charge.

"I think this can really become something that all of former athletes say they want to be involved in," Wilson said.

Robbins played against Sitton during his playing career. Both are now actively involved in community projects.

Robbins and his wife, Tia, founded Mr. Robbins Neighborhood, which is a program to help young athletes understand the importance of education and life skills to gain a career beyond football.

The couple has also joined with Quint Studer to help make Pensacola a better place.

"Josh and I have supported each other from day one," said Robbins, who went from Tate High to Wake Forest to a lengthy, decorated NFL career. "Now it's not about the athletic part. It's just about coming together as a community, coming together as a whole and having these kids experience life and the camaraderie.

"The more (kids) see Josh and I together, the more we bring the guys in that we know, they will see the camaraderie, see that you can come together and it will make these kids come together."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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