Mother’s Day meant football for a local mom

While May 10 was Mothers’ Day, many moms spent their day watching their sons at Larry Fitzgerald’s ProCamp.  Cathy Padilla of San Tan Valley was one of those mothers. Her 13-year-old son, Kyle, has a passion for the game.

“What I love is just playing football,” Kyle said.

The camp, which was put on by ProCamps in partnership with the Banner Concussion Center, was hosted over the weekend at Tempe’s McClintock High School. ProCamps Worldwide offers camps with professional athletes and coaches in a wide variety of sports.  Fitzgerald is a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. The camp featured appearances from quarterback Drew Stanton and other Cardinals players.

Kyle won the ProCamper of the day in the Cardinals division which was the 12-and-up age bracket.

“He’s (Fitzgerald) Hall of Fame bound and it’s just fun being camper of the day at his camp which I didn’t expect,” Kyle said.

“(He) won an autographed picture of Larry, a certificate, a $25 gift certificate to Dick’s (Sporting Goods), some Larry Legos,” Mrs. Padilla said. “Really, really exciting. He was exhausted yesterday but could not wait to come back today.”

The coaches that work with the kids each day selected the camper of the day.

“I was just doing my thing, doing the best I could and supporting my group, supporting others because they were trying their best too. And I guess I got recognized by my coach,” Kyle said.

“The coaches interact with the kids for three hours a day and they decide which camper they like from their group that best exemplifies character, teamwork, hard work and dedication,” Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals said.
“He just could not stop smiling,” Conrad Padilla, Kyle’s father, added.

“Our children are our future and you want to protect their well-being to the best of your ability. You want to give the parents all the knowledge they can about concussions and what causes them,” Fitzgerald said about his camp.
And the Padillas took advantage of the information the camp was providing.

“I realized yesterday I went to the concussion seminar that they had here and when Kyle was hurt back in December, realized he was not diagnosed with a concussion, but after learning what I learned yesterday he had a concussion,” Mrs. Padilla said.  “Being aware of the concussion and how to treat it.”

“We thought we were in the clear because the doctors in the ER went through the full concussion protocol. But it doesn’t always catch all the symptoms,” Mr. Padilla said.

One important thing to the Padillas was that they get the information but not to be too over-protective.

“But also allowing him as a child to grow as well. I don’t want to stifle him because any sport you can get injured in,”  Mrs. Padilla said.

“There are more kids that get hurt on bicycles every year than on football fields and so I don’t think we should jump to conclusions and stop playing tackle football. I think that we should educate ourselves, and knowledge is power,” Fitzgerald said.

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