Inaugural Creed Whittemore Football Camp draws middle schoolers

Former Buchholz quarterback Creed Whittemore (with football) talks to middle schoolers at a football camp held Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.
Former Buchholz quarterback Creed Whittemore (with football) talks to middle schoolers at a football camp held Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida.
Photo by Cam Parker

Creed Whittemore’s time as Buchholz High School’s quarterback was as impactful as anyone

who had played before him after leading the Bobcats to back-to-back state semifinal

appearances.

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On Saturday, however, it was his role as a coach and mentor that made an impact.

Whittemore, currently a receiver at Mississippi State, returned to Gainesville to host the first

Creed Whittemore Football Camp at the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Florida, where he and

a group of former Bobcats coached over 100 middle school football players.

In total, 17 former Bobcats who play at the collegiate level joined Whittemore as guest coaches.

Multiple players, including Whittemore, came from out of state to participate.

Former Buchholz football players helped middle schoolers at the inaugural Creed Whittemore Football Camp on Saturday.
Courtesy of Matthew DiBernardo Former Buchholz football players helped middle schoolers at the inaugural Creed Whittemore Football Camp on Saturday.

“The relationship that we all built in high school, you’re going to have guys that are going to come back,” Whittemore said. “They care about Buchholz. They care about this community. We take pride in the 352.”

Among them were UCF wide receiver Trent Whittemore, UF linebacker Myles Graham, Texas A&M defensive lineman Kendall Jackson and Boston College defensive back Victor Nelson.

“I think it’s special for these kids to see so many guys from their hometown who have made it to the next level, something that they all dream to do, and I’m sure it’s an inspiration to them,” Trent Whittemore said. “It’s just a blessing for us to be in that position to impact them in that way.”

Former Buchholz players coached at the Creed Whittemore Football Camp held on May 18.

A standout moment came at the end of the camp when current Florida A&M linebacker Nay’Ron

Jenkins participated in a shuttle drill with a young camper and helped motivate him to finish the drill.

The camper, Jenkins explained, revealed that he was afraid of coming in last place.

“I told him that sometimes it’s not about who’s the fastest but about who’s the strongest. Not even just in football but also in life,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to show him as well as show everybody that when things get tough, you’ve got to run to the trouble, not away from it.”

Creed Whittemore considered the camp a success for the campers and the coaches.

“I think a bunch of the coaches, the players that were out here today, they saw the impact that

we have on these kids,” he said. “We can really change their lives around, and I think that’s

what football does for a kid.”

He credited the local Boys and Girls Club as well as a group of sponsors for help making the camp a possibility. The camp will be an annual occurrence with a different former Alachua

County football player being the namesake each year, according to Buchholz assistant coach Matthew DiBernardo.

Former Buchholz running backlinebacker Myles Graham, now with the Florida Gators, at the inaugural Creed Whittemore Football Camp on Saturday.
Photo by Cam Parker Former Buchholz running back/linebacker Myles Graham, now with the Florida Gators, at the inaugural Creed Whittemore Football Camp on Saturday.

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