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Photo: Cullman County Schools Superintendent Shane Barnette, Jeremiah Castille and  John Riley, president and CEO of Cullman Savings Bank

CULLMAN – An event that has become a favorite among local youth athletes and parents alike will return to the Cullman area for its ninth consecutive year. The Jeremiah Castille Character Camp is happening June 10-11 at the soccer fields of Heritage Park. The camp is free.

The football portion of the camp is open to kids from grades six through 12, and the speed and agility portion is available for three divisions: first through fifth grade, sixth through the eighth and ninth to 12th grade. Speed and agility is open to all youth athletes, no matter the sport.

Day one of the camp will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. with the second day to be from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

A Saturday evening service will be held on June 11 at 6 p.m. in the Christ Hall at St. John’s Church in Cullman.

Castille, a former All-American defensive back at the University of Alabama who went on to play in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, is the camp director.

He will be assisted by Tim Castille, Simeon Castille, Darius Gilbert, Jeremy Mosley, Maurice Smith, Dennis Alexander, Joe Edwards, Bill Searcey, Charlie Jones, Willie Smith, Korren Kirvin and Danny Miller.

Castille was in town Friday promoting the camp along with local coordinator T.J. Franey.

Cullman County School Superintendent Shane Barnette was also a part of the festivities.

“We are doing what we can to make sure all of our schools in the county system are promoting this event,” Barnette said. “The camp is not just targeting football players. It is open to all types of athletes, whether they play high school, middle school or organized sports.”

Castille talked about building character for youth at as early of an age as possible. “Getting them to understand, they have options in life is very important to them at such a young age,” he said. “We want to get the most out of a person in different ways from our camp.”

Like most former athletes, Castille is concerned about the culture today, from high school kids to collegiate athletes.

Castille has stayed up on the situation from earlier in the week with the arrests of Alabama football players Cam Robinson and Hootie Jones while they were back in their hometown of Monroe, Louisiana.

“The culture today has the athletes wrapped up more in the outcome, than in just their performance,” Castille said. “You can learn more about yourself when you deal with learning how to lose and build from it. It has come to a point where the young people are letting the outcome dictate more than the performance.”

Franey is hoping this year’s edition of the camp draws between 150 to 300 participants. Franey thanked the sponsors who have come through to keep this camp operating in its ninth year.

Registration forms are available at the Cullman County Board of Education office at 402 Arnold St. NE. To register online, visit

For more information, call the board at 256-734-2933 or go online to

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