8th annual AD47 camp wraps up in Laurel

Former Laurel High School football standout Akeem Davis held his annual camp n Laurel Saturday, turning it into a "Cops and Cleats" event.
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Akeem Davis, a former National Football League safety, returned home to Laurel this weekend to host his annual football leadership camp- AD47.

Also called ‘Cops and Cleats,’ the camp is a joint effort with local law enforcement.

It provides the opportunity for kids ages 8-12 to learn and understand the fundamentals of football on and off the field.

“They can see the other side of police officers where we’re not taking someone to jail, writing somebody a ticket or working an accident, knocking on your door to give you some bad news,” said Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Taylor Shows,

“This is just a positive way for us to give back to the community of people that give so much to us.”

The entire day focuses on five main ideas- character, discipline, grit, follow-through and leadership.

Tyrone Keys, who played for the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, helped spark the idea for the leadership camp.

“ I met Akeem Davis about ten years ago, told him what we were doing in Tampa with the ‘Cops and Cleats’ program with some of my former students, Ricky Sailor and he said, ‘Man, tell me more about it,’” Keys said. “I said there’s nothing better than to get cops and kids who have grown up fearful of and athletes coming together and letting the cops and athletes, and the whole community come together and be unified as one.”

South Jones High School football coach Todd Breland, who coached Davis at Laurel High School back in the day, said AD47 has benefited him and he wants to continue to help each year.

“Watching my former players come back and give, and that’s of course Akeem, who was a player of mine,” Breland said. “We have former Laurel Tornadoes here, but we’ve also got West Jones Mustangs here and different kids from the community (who) I’ve coached against and had the privilege to coach.

“Just watching those young men go to work and give back is just a proud moment.”

Former coaches and athletes spent Saturday trying to impact the future stars of the community.

Davis’ sister, Chakitra Hill, said she is proud of what her brother has accomplished by practicing what he preaches.

“Living with him, growing up, I’ve seen him exemplify good character,” Hill said. “I’ve seen him have that leadership quality. I’ve seen him follow through with everything that he has planned to do and I’ve also seen his grit.

“He just keeps going no matter what.”

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