- Feature Story
- George Becnel
- April 21, 2018 - 1:35pm
There’s something about the St. James Wildcat Women’s Football Camp that keeps bringing Scherell Sterling back.
“I keep coming back because I love the excitement. I love the enjoyment we have working together as a group. Coach (Robert) Valdez and his team put on a nice camp for us to really understand what the kids are going through,” said Sterling, who has participated all three years the event has been in existence.
Sterling, whose son, Dontaz Sterling, will be a senior football Wildcat in the fall, is able to offer same sage advice to other campers with her status as a veteran.
“Keep going. Don’t give up. I know it seems like it’s hard. Keep going even. Even if you get tired, walk through instead of running through,” Sterling laughingly offered.
One camper taking the advice to heart Saturday morning at Wildcat Stadium was newcomer Alicson Armant.
“I love it. I’ve been through the police academy so this is actually awesome and I get to meet new people,” said Armant.
The event, Armant said, has been a bit of an eye opener.
“I know nothing about football. Now I see how my son feels being in his shoes,” said Armant, whose son, Askea Armant, is a St. James football player.
Veteran campers like Sterling have seen it all. The first year, the event was held on a scorching July morning. Last year’s event featured a wind so powerful, a strong-armed pro quarterback would have had trouble throwing the football.
“They have more energy than before. I thought we would wear them out with the agility stations and all that,” Valdez said. “It’s a good group. The ladies come every year and get good a good workout. It’s a wonderful way to incorporate our program with our community.
“We have great weather. They are trying to wear me out.”
The camp is held each year to help raise funds for cancer awareness. The Wildcats have a Cancer Awareness game annually on the first home football game in October. The St. James players wear jerseys with pink numerals, which were purchased with proceeds from the camp, to honor cancer survivors.
That hits home to many of the campers, who like Sterling, is a cancer survivor.
“As a survivor, that means a lot to me to go out. It means a lot to me that they put on a camp to support breast cancer,” said Sterling, who is an eight-year cancer survivor.
Others, like Armant, have had family members or friends who have had cancer.
“I have a sister that passed away with breast cancer and a grandfather that passed away with cancer. I just feel motivated for the cause,” said Armant.
The camp, Valdez said, has a two-fold purpose.
“The cause is basically just for us to raise awareness for all type of cancer survivors and incorporate those ladies into our program,” the St. James coach said. “We have a couple of ladies out here that couldn’t participate but they made donations. Some are fighting every day and we just want to recognize them and let them know we are there for them.
“It’s a chance to come out and have some fun and forget about everything for half a day.”