KING — Former West Stokes standout and current Campbell University tight end Austin Fleming is hosting a football skills camp here next week.
The camp will be at Powerhouse Training Facility in King July 25-26 and then August 1-2 from 1-5 p.m. The cost is $40 per day and is open to ages 7-18.
“For a long time my motto has been faith, family, and football,” said Fleming. “I’ve got the faith down pretty good, family is very important to me, and because the school and this community has done so much for me, I want to give back to the football part.”
Fleming was a four-year starting quarterback at West Stokes and helped lead his team to a state championship win in 2011.
The Wildcats made the playoffs all four years with Fleming as a starter. He earned all-conference honors three times and was runnerup for player of the year twice. He amassed more than 10,000 all-purpose yards.
As a senior he set several school records including rushing touchdowns (32), rushing yards (1,930), passing touchdowns (17), passing yards (1,907), scoring (206) and punt average (37.7).
“I think there’s a lot of kids in this area that play here and don’t realize the competition beyond Stokes and Surry. There’s really good players outside of our area and I want kids to know that,” he said.
Fleming credits his father, who played at Wake Forest as an offensive tackle in the 1980s, for keeping him grounded and looking ahead.
“He’s always said you might be good around here but I’ll let the newspapers and other people kiss your butt because I won’t be doing that,” Fleming laughed. “Even after winning the state championship he reminded me I’d be playing at the next level so we needed to sit down and watch some film because we had stuff to do.”
Playing at the next level meant doing whatever the coaching staff asked of him. In this case, it meant moving from a star position like quarterback to an unsung tight end.
“For the older kids I want them to understand to play at the next level it’s a job and you have to be better than the next person because you’re easily replaceable. Even on the high school level, you have to fight for your position, and the best players end up on the field on Friday.”
As a freshman, it took Fleming half the season to learn his new spot well enough to get on the field. Once he did, he played in the final five games and even started the season finale. He made 10 catches for 179 yards and two TDs.
He went from benchwarmer to twice earning honorable mention for weekly awards.
The 2014 College Football Performance Awards named him an honorable mention for best tight end for the games on Nov. 11 and Nov. 18.
Even though Campbell is a run-heavy team, Fleming still increased his production his sophomore year to 21 catches for 229 yards (10.9-yard average) and a touchdown.
He has been named to the CFPA’s watch list for tight ends.
At his camp, Fleming plans to convey what his father and coaches have taught him, which include skill training, speed, agility and position coaching.
“I love football and I love helping people out,” he said. “This camp means a lot to me because it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. If there’s one kid that comes out or 100, as long as I feel like I’ve made a difference then it’s worth it.”
For more information on the camp, call 985-6804.
Associate Editor Jeff Linville contributed to this report.
Amanda Dodson is a staff reporter for The Stokes News.