Former NFL players offer local camp through FCA

High school football players in Warren County will have a chance to learn from the best this summer.

Not just a high school offensive coordinator, but three – count ’em – three former National Football League players.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes will hold a camp Saturday, July 12, at War Memorial Field for players entering grades 9-12 this fall.

Former NFL players Jon Kolb and Leo Wisniewski will be on hand to offer direct, hands on coaching as well as share faith in Christ with young athletes. And former Cleveland Brown, George Lilja of Warren, was instrumental in helping to set up this opportunity.

Kolb was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Oklahoma State in 1969 and went on to a 13-year career with the black and gold. He was a starting offensive tackle on the 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979 Super Bowl teams, and finished fourth in two separate World’s Strongest Man competitions at the end of his playing career.

Kolb has also served as the Steelers’ strength and conditioning coach and currently teaches in the exercise science department at Youngstown State University.

Wisniewski starred at Penn State before being selected by the Baltimore Colts in the second round of the 1982 draft. A knee injury ended his NFL career after three seasons. Wisniewski’s son, Stefen, was an offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions and currently starts at left guard for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

Lilja has been a volunteer coach in Warren, and is a former National Football League offensive lineman for eight seasons, including with the Cleveland Browns. He calls it “a dream come true” to, along with Warren Area High School offensive coordinator Henry Borger, bring a Christian-based camp to Warren – his new hometown.

“Henry’s done a nice job (setting this up),” said Lilja. “They are going to learn lessons on not only how to play football, but to learn lessons on character as well… The ministry itself is geared toward high school, all sports, boys and girls. I had players I looked up to and I’m always trying to give back to the community. You have the ability to affect more people in one year (as a coach) than most people have in a lifetime.”

The cost of the camp is $35 per player and includes a tee shirt, lunch, and Bible. Coaches are welcome to attend with their players and will be admitted free of charge.

“We’re just trying to teach the kids that football is very important, but it’s a game and it’s part of a much bigger picture of learning,” said Borger. “You’re part of a team, and you’re playing for something larger than yourself and that’s the way life is.

“(These players) have all these wonderful stories of perseverance,” he said.

To register, contact Henry Borger at 757-9102 or 706-5902.