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Air It Out Passing Camp builds character through football and faith

Hereford alum Alan Wartes gives back to Texas Panhandle athletes
Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 11:19 PM CDT
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BUSHLAND, Texas (KFDA) - Summer is the season for high school athletes to train, fine-tune and better their skills. A few former Texas Panhandle players are helping football offensive skill athletes do just that through the Air It Out Passing Camp. For 32 years, former Hereford quarterback and Texas Tech and Hardin-Simmons college coach Alan Wartes has coached 7th through 12th grade quarterbacks, receivers, tight ends and running backs good technique, but even more important, a strong character.

“They really preach faith and leadership and faith more,” said Dalhart senior quarterback Thomas Meyer. “That’s more than football itself.”

“If we can teach them to be good young men and do what they’re supposed to do, when they’re 30-years-old they’ll be way more successful,” said Wartes. “Way more than just a football game.”

The Air It Out Camp two-day camp in Bushland features former college and NFL players from the Texas Panhandle that want to educate and give back.

“Last week in Abilene we had campers from California, New York and Colorado that showed up,” said Cody Hodges, former Hereford and Texas Tech quarterback. “Here we’ve got kids from New Mexico and Oklahama. What a visionary. He had this dream all those years ago. He stuck with it and it’s working.”

“It’s good to have successful people come out of Hereford and I’m happy to learn from all of them,” said Hereford senior slot receiver Noah Brown. “Catch it over the shoulder and making new friends. I think that’s been the best part, making new friends out here.”

“I was able to be with some great players with quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Vince Young and Drew Brees,” said David Thomas, former Frenship, University of Texas at Austin, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints tight end. “Coaches like Mack Brown, Bill Belichick and Sean Payton, so being around guys like that on a day-to-day basis I was able to learn a lot from those guys and was able to be on successful teams.”

From making it to the NFL like Thomas or sitting on the bench for four years at Texas Tech before becoming the college starter like Hodges, these guys have been there. It takes hard work and determination, skills that can be coached at Air It Out camp.

“Being from Hereford is special. We had a great team when I played there,” said Wartes. “If we can pass on any information to them or tradition, things that might help them be successful, I love to do it. My mom still lives there, so Hereford is still home to me.”

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