The Cass Colonels Football Camp, under the direction of head football coach Rick Casko, will run from 9 a.m. to noon July 23 through 25.
Appearing at the three-day camp will be current University of Georgia running back Richard Samuel, a former offensive and defensive star for the Colonels, and former National Football League defensive lineman Johnny Rutledge, both of whom were coached by Casko.
The camp is being taught by coach Casko, the Cass High coaching staff and team plus Samuel and Rutledge.
Youngsters wishing to sign up may do so through the Bartow County Recreation Department, pick up a brochure and sign up at Cass High, or go to Cass High the first day of the camp and sign up. The charge is $25. For more information, call the Bartow County Recreation Department at 770-387-5149 or Cass High at 770-606-5845 ext. 4.
Both Samuel and Rutledge will be working with and speaking to the youngsters at the camp.
Casko said their appearance helps underscore how far talented athletes who apply themselves on the gridiron and in the classroom can go.
"This is an opportunity for these youngsters to learn things that will help them play high school football," the coach said. "Those who work hard also may get to continue their careers at the collegiate level, like Richard, where it will help pay for their educations."
Some of those collegiate stars, he added, will have a chance to fulfill their aspirations of playing in the NFL, like Rutledge.
The camp is designed to help everyone from kindergarten students to rising ninth-graders, he said, and is open to all youngsters, not just those who attend Cass.
"We had about 80 last year to attend," he said. "It's been growing every year."
Casko said the camp teaches fundamentals about the game but also takes into consideration its target audience.
"We want kids to go out there and have a fun experience in football," he said. "A lot of these kids will be playing recreational football in the fall and we think it's important that they have a fun, positive experience before that starts.
"They'll be out there running around in the heat," he said, "and this needs to be for them. The kids love it out there. They want more. Three days is not enough."
Special appearances will be made by Samuel and Rutledge.
Samuel is a former Cass High great who starred as a tailback and defensive starter [free safety and linebacker]. The former Colonel has played at running back and linebacker for the Bulldogs.
His longest rush for the Bulldogs was for 80 yards, which he gained against Arkansas in 2009. He went on to gain 104 yards total in that game against the Razorbacks.
His career high in carries was 20 against then-No. 9 Oklahoma State in 2009.
Rutledge attended Glades Central High School, where he was coached by Casko.
He attended the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship and played for Steve Spurrier from 1995 to 1998.
He was a member of the 1996 team that defeated the Florida State Seminoles 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl to claim the Bowl Alliance national championship. Rutledge was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection as a senior in 1998 and was a second-team member as a junior in 1997. The Gators won two SEC titles during his stay there.
Rutledge was chosen in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, where he played through 2002. His final season was as a member of the Denver Broncos in 2003. He played in 46 regular season games, including 14 in 2001.