Jones Brothers Football Camp Takes ‘Family’ Approach in Year Two
There’s three things the Jones family puts over most anything else: God, family and their love and livelihood, football. On a blazing hot Friday afternoon, former UTEP standout running back and current Green Bay Packers back Aaron Jones manned the Jones Brothers second-annual youth football skills camp at the Sun Bowl—home of where he kicked off his professional football career and home of his beloved city.
“Without the first two, God and family, I wouldn’t be anywhere,” said Jones at the start of the second day of camp. “Football comes last because without the first two, I don’t have football.”
“I love coming back home. My family, friends, everyone I know is here."
Thursday, the camp hosted 5-year-olds up to seventh grade, and Friday’s camp featured eighth graders to seniors in high school. The camp was completely free to anyone on either day.
"I would never charge anyone to play football," Aaron said proudly.
The camp was set to be hosted by both Aaron and Alvin Jones, but Alvin had to miss this year’s camp due to scheduled meetings and practices for the Ravens.
“Alvin’s role is that he’s an equal partner with Aaron. He’s having some good days in Baltimore. These first two days of training camp are really important for him,” said Jones Sr.
Aaron brought along Packer teammates like offensive lineman Justin McCray and running back Devante Mays, while some current and former UTEP football athletes tagged along and volunteered for the camp, such as DaShone Smith and Dante Lovilotte.
“Means a lot for these guys to take their own time to do this with me,” Aaron said. “I’m really thankful for them. I took them to L&J’s and got them some chile con queso. They liked it.”
Last year’s inaugural camp drew the inspiration for the Jones family to continue this as a tradition and this year’s camp has already seen a load of success, as the camp hit maximum capacity at 1,200 attendees.
“Day one was challenge for not just us, but for everyone else in El Paso due to the crash by the truck on the freeway,” said Alvin Jones Sr., who was crucial to the camp coming to fruition. “But we’re looking at it all positive. We had all of us make it, we all made it out and all these kids here. Kids had a ball."
From enthusiastic little children, to high schoolers trying to impress at the camp, the second-annual outing came with much success and potential for future growth.
“The boys and I talked about this in high school,” explained Jones Sr. “They said that if they ever got to the place they’re at, they will never charge for any kids. They understand that some people are less fortunate than others. Just because they’re less fortunate doesn’t mean they can’t participate.”
And for the future, Aaron has a lot planned for his sophomore season on Green Bay.
“A good year for me. Anywhere [Green Bay] needs me, I’ll be there. I want to be explosive,” he said.