Next Level Elite football camp returns to Winter Garden

The eighth annual camp will take place Saturday, June 29, at Walker Field.

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The eighth annual Next Level Elite Camp is set to return to Winter Garden Saturday, June 29, at Walker Field.

Led by former West Orange High assistant football coach — and now South Lake High football’s defensive coordinator — Brandon Griffin, the free youth camp aims to give back to the community that he grew up in.

“We’re just trying to give back to the people of this area,” Griffin said. “Growing up here, we didn’t really have camps like this that we could go to. And when there were camps, they cost money. For us, this camp is about giving back to the area we grew up in; the camp is on the same field that I played on as a kid. We love seeing all the kids come out and have a great time while knowing the parents don’t have to worry about coming up with the money to pay any fees.” 

Beyond creating a fun and cost-free event for the families of West Orange County — more than 100 campers participated last year — Griffin and his fellow coaches strive to provide campers with quality coaching and drills that will help campers learn and develop their skills as football players. 

“Campers (who) come out can look forward to putting in good quality work and receiving coaching from some great coaches that have played at every level,” Griffin said. “Everyone should come prepared to compete and learn from (one another). At the end of the day, our goal is to help these kids get better, and that comes from iron sharpening iron.” 

Coaches who will be participating alongside Griffin include Roman Tatum, a former West Orange standout and college football defensive back at the University of Delaware and Southern Illinois University; Garrett Johnson, an All-State wide receiver at West Orange, four-year player at Kentucky and former Chicago Bear; and Marcus Isom, a three-year starter at defensive tackle for West Orange and Wofford College player. 

“Along with the core coaches, we always invite some guys we’ve coached in the past (who) are now in college, some (who) are heading off to college,” Griffin said. “The camp gives those guys some experience of what it’s like to be a coach and to interact with kids who look up to them and want to be in their position.” 

West Orange rising senior and Notre Dame commit Ivan Taylor, former West Orange receiver and current UCF player Jordyn Bridgewater and former West Orange defensive back and current Florida Gator Jordan Castell are some of the recent standout players who have volunteered at the camp.



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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