Kicking is a way of life for Connor and Casey Barth.
Both earned scholarships to be placekickers for North Carolina, and now the two enjoy giving back to the community that has supported them for so many years by hosting an annual kicking camp.
“You know Wilmington is one big family,” Casey Barth said. “it’s always been since I was young and Connor was young. We have all supported each other and it gives us a chance to give back and teach something we have learned.”
Connor, who is entering his 10th season in the NFL, enjoys seeing campers return each year.
“It’s amazing to see kids that I helped just a few years ago,” said Connor, who kicks for the Chicago Bears. “I see them come back better than they were, and that is what it’s all about, getting better every year.”
“Some of these kids are just as good as we were in high school and maybe better,” Casey said. “It’s awesome to see that and the talent that comes from Wilmington.”
Owen Daffer, who is rising sophomore at Laney, said he’s been coming to the camp for three years and has seen a huge improvement.
“When I started out, I didn’t have as much power as I do now,” Daffer said. “I gained a lot of power because of him.”
Five years into the camp, Connor has no plans of stopping and he hopes to improve it each year.
“I am going to continue to try to bring the best coaches I can every year,” Connor said. “I am lucky to know guys playing in the NFL for a while now. I am going to continue to bring the best teachers and technicians I can.
This year, that included bringing in Bears punter Pat O’Donnell.”
“It’s awesome and I wish I had that opportunity” O’Donnell said. “Hopefully these kids remember this day and move forward and maybe play in college and get a scholarship, and get an education out of this one day.”
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