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One Man's Opinion

Watching Ray Guy work to give back is truly special.

He's a man always on a mission it seems -- a man with an abundance of patience and willing to help others achieve what even they didn't know they could. That's what pleases him the most.

Guy, an NFL punting legend who grew up in Thomson, worked with dozens of teenagers from throughout the Southeast at a kicking camp Dec. 30-31 at the high school in Thomson.

For the past several years, Guy has been returning to Thomson to put on the camp.

Often times he has juggled his schedule to attend the Thomson camp. Because of his new job with the University of Southern Mississippi, raising money for the school's centennial celebration on March 30, he hasn't been able to attend the camps he has in the past. In fact, it was only his second working camp since July.

"It's special when I can come back home and put on a camp here in Thomson, because this is where it all began for me," Guy said.

He admits that each of the Ray Guy Kicking Academy camps is important, because he and his staff, which is headed by Rick Sang, want kids to get the most out of what they are taught.

His former coach at Thomson High School, Paul Leroy, who also lives in Thomson, serves as one of the instructors.

Coach Leroy and his former star prep player remain close friends after all these years. And no one would like to see Guy get inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame more than Leroy.

"Ray should have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the first year his name came up," Leroy said.

Guy and Sang recently co-authored a book titled Football Kicking and Punting, which can be purchased at area book stores. The men had worked on brochures together, but nothing ever as involved as the book.

Book sales reportedly are doing well. As soon as more people discover the book and how helpful it would be to all-aged football kickers and punters, I believe those sales will become very brisk. I want this book to be most successful, because these two men have such vast knowledge about the sport.

I've been reading the autographed copy that was presented to me as a gift and I find it fascinating. It's a must-read for anyone now playing the game as a kicker or punter or for those considering those positions.

Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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