It was a perfect morning at Quince Orchard High School for the first-ever Zach Kerr’s Stars of Tomorrow Camp. The free football camp, held July 7, enjoyed a great turnout, and Denver Broncos defensive lineman—and 2008 QO graduate—Zach Kerr plans to build the program.
Campers spent the first few hours running through position drills. They were coached by former QO football players, some of whom were Kerr’s teammates over the years.
After a lunch catered by Chick-fil-A and Carribean Soull Food, Kerr talked to the campers and their families about his long journey through various hardships growing up that has now led him to entering his fifth year in the NFL. He wanted to let the campers know, “If somebody who played on the same field, walked in the same hallways, and sat in the same classrooms made it, then they can too.”
One of Kerr’s goals for the day was to stress the importance of work done in the classroom and off the field, and how those things can translate into an athlete’s success both in football and in life.
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Darnell Leslie, QO Class of 2012, was one of the Stars of Tomorrow Camp coaches. Leslie said he remembers watching Kerr in high school and then seeing him play at University of Delaware and recalled how this was a big source of inspiration for him. Leslie, who played his college ball at Monmouth University, said that seeing Kerr play at a smaller school and then make it to where he is now, gave him the will and drive that he too could make it to the NFL.
Recent QO graduate Doc Bonner has plans of his own to follow in Kerr’s footsteps. Bonner said that he hopes to one day return to QO and give back to the community and the kids that have shown him so much support.
Longtime QO line coach and highly regarded strength coach Mike Sarni summed up Kerr’s impact on the local community. “When Zach came into this community in 2007, it was everything to him. He could have easily held a camp out in Denver where he is playing, but he wanted to come back to the high school because Gaithersburg and Quince Orchard meant so much to him.
“For Zach to come back, to hold a free camp for the kids, to cover all of the cost to rent the field, buy the kids t-shirts, bring in all of the food, it really shows you what type of kid Zach is,” he said.