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Joe Berger Brings Youth Camp Back to Newaygo

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Newaygo High School alum and former NFL offensive lineman Joe Berger is bringing his annual youth football camp back to Newaygo this month.

The camp is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, and will feature instruction from Berger as well as from coaching staffs from Newaygo and Tri County High Schools. The camp is free and open to boys and girls who are in grades K-8. Camp will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m.

A sixth-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2005 out of Michigan Tech, Berger starred on Newaygo’s varsity team and went on to play in 145 career NFL games, starting in 84. Berger spent his for first seven seasons splitting time between the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys before settling in with the Vikings in 2011 and retiring in 2018.

Berger had doubts the camp would happen this year without a grant from the NFL, but several local businesses have stepped up.

“It’s kind of good to be able to space people out. Make sure we’re within everywhere we should be,” Berger said. “The schools offered up more than just the practice field. We have the whole area there. I think we’ll be able to run a good camp and enjoy the time there.”

While attendance numbers are expected to be down this year, camp directors prefer that for social distancing purposes.

“We’re going to socially distance. We’ll have everything spread out,” camp coordinator Kevin Harkness said. “We have companies that donated water bottles and stuff instead of common drinking areas. Things of that nature.”

Registration for the camp ends Friday. For more information, visit .

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