BOZEMAN — Inside Bobcat Stadium Monday, more than 400 kids took the field for a youth football camp where they got the chance to learn from three local NFL stars: Seattle’s Will Dissly and Rams rookies Lance McCutcheon and Daniel Hardy.
The three returned to Bozeman with NFL training camps just days away but said it was important to give back to the community that gave so much to them.
“MSU has the best fans on the face of the Earth hands down, and I’ll fight people over that," Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Daniel Hardy laughed. "That’s the reason why I love to do stuff like this. Just to have the opportunity to give back to them and show them how much I appreciate their love and support is all I could ask for.”
For Dissly, Monday’s camp came full circle reminiscing on his younger days that started right inside Bobcat Stadium.
“It’s been a wild ride, but it all starts right here in Bozeman," Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly smiled. "Doing stuff like this is what I did growing up going to camps at Bobcat Stadium, so it's awesome that it’s finally my name on it.”
Those sentiments were echoed by his former Bozeman Hawk teammate Lance McCutcheon.
“Growing up you come to all these camps, and it’s just cool to give back because I was once in their shoes and trying to show these kids that it’s not impossible to make it to the NFL coming out of Bozeman, Montana," McCutcheon added.
But aside from the tackling drills or catching passes from one of their local heroes, the most important takeaway from Monday’s youth camp were the lessons about hard work and determination.
“When I see kids that want to go to the NFL, the most important thing is that they’re having fun, that they’re loving what they do," Dissly explained. "That will take you longer than any motivational speech or any tip or whatnot. It’s just love what you do with who you love and good things will happen.”
“It takes a lot more than just athleticism," McCutcheon stated. "It takes hard work. It takes determination. There are going to be days you don’t want to do something, but you have to get up and do it. ”