MILLERSVILLE, Pa. — While some coaches like to take some time away from the game of football in the weeks leading up to the season, the gridiron remains a constant in the life of York native Ron Johnson.
"This is the busiest time for us. We had a combine at Cumberland Valley, Perkiomen Valley, and also Belle Vernon," recalled Johnson. "We say that we're most proud that we teach our athletes leadership and education in the classroom, but yes, we do get it in at practice."
Whether it was his time at York Catholic, Shippensburg University, or the Philadelphia Eagles, he knows the talent level in the Keystone State.
"They see the players go onto the higher level Division 1 schools, Division 2, and Division 3," said Johnson. "Pennsylvania has a great reputation, as far as the standout players we've had in this state."
Johnson's upcoming Rising Stars Football Academy camp from June 25 to the 29 at Millersville University welcomes kids from 10 to 18 years old. As the game of football evolves, so does the camp.
"We want to teach our guys the right way to play football, teach them the very best techniques, and we've had guys who have grown up through our camps over the past 15 years and have gone on to play in Division I, II, and III levels of football and achieve scholarships. Some of our guys now that have graduated through the program, they're playing at some pretty high levels in the Big 10, ACC, and all over," Johnson said.
While showcasing the X's and O's, the Shippensburg University Hall of Famer, along with his coaches, use their own experiences to help those trying to reach levels where they once competed.
"I share my story of high school. Some of the things I should've done better, which is focus on my academics more, become a better leader, and I'd be foolish to not share that with some of our athletes around the state," said Johnson. "It's part of giving back to the kids in our community and just sharing our story and the best knowledge that we have to be able to help them succeed in life."