Cornerstone Christian hosting elite football camp

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Cornerstone Christian School is coming off its best athletic season in the school’s 16-year history after three teams wearing the Chargers’ purple and gold colors captured Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A state championships.

The Chargers claimed their state-record fifth consecutive softball state title and their second championship in boys’ basketball, but the school’s baseball title was a first for the school.

Cornerstone Christian will experience another first for the school this summer on July 19-20 when it hosts the Next Level Elite football camp, which will be directed by former Louisiana State University linebacker Kenneth Hollis. Hollis was a member of the Tigers’ national championship team in 2003 under current University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

The camp is an example of the school reaping the benefits from the Chargers’ success during the 2011-2012 academic calendar, said athletic director Tim Smith.

“It’s going to be a great camp,” Smith said. “Kenneth is a very Godly man. We’re excited to host it.”

Hollis, a Minor High School graduate, spent two seasons at East Mississippi Junior College before joining the LSU squad in 2003. Hollis recorded 78 tackles, three sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown against Tennessee, during his career with the Tigers.

Hollis, who signed an undrafted free agent contract with the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons and played for the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, has played for an impressive list of college coaches in Saban, Les Miles, Derek Dooley, Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp and Bo Pelini.

The camp will be open to all youth ages 12-21 interested in football. Smith, the Chargers’ football coach, said every member of his team will participate and invites other schools to use the camp as a team camp. Individual players are also invited to participate, Smith said.

The camp will run each day from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The camp will include current and past college coaches and players as instructors, Smith said.

Interest in athletics is at an all-time high at Cornerstone Christian, Smith said, after three teams captured state titles a year ago. Smith hopes the camp will offer a glimpse of what Cornerstone Christian offers, athletically and academically.

“I want us to be as big as God desires us to be,” Smith said. “Athletics is secondary to us. First and foremost is to tell our students about God.”