Way of Saying Thanks

PARKERSBURG – Josh Jenkins understands he owes a lot to the community that supported him during his playing days at Parkersburg High and West Virginia University.

Now, the only two-time winner of the Hunt Award has teamed up with former Mountaineer teammate Shawne Alston as well as former Parkersburg South standout Matt Shamblin to do something about it.

Jenkins, who signed a free agent contract with Seattle following the NFL Draft, and Alston will be in town on July 12-13 to bring area football players to the 2013 Josh Jenkins and Shawne Alston Football Camp.

“I’ve always wanted to do something for the community that supported me throughout my days at PHS and at WVU,” Jenkins said. “This gives me a perfect opportunity to give back to the community some of the things that I have learned over the years.”

The most sought-after football player in the Mountain State after helping lead the Big Reds to a 13-1 record and back-to-back Class AAA state championships, Jenkins threw his lot in with a Mountaineer team that was coming off of a Big East Conference and Fiesta Bowl championship, but was going to be without its head coach as Rich Rodriguez had elected to leave the program to take over the helm at the University of Michigan.

Undaunted by the move, and with the help of new head coach Bill Stewart and recruiting coordinator ‘Doc’ Holliday, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman made the move to Morgantown where he became an immediate impact player -playing in five games as a freshman before a knee injury cut short his first season in the old gold and blue.

His sophomore season witnessed his rise into the starting lineup at left guard where he earned third-team All-Big East honors by Phil Steele. Injuries, however, continued to plague him as they cost him two games during his junior campaign and the entire 2011 season when a knee injury suffered during spring drills required surgery and a long rehab session.

Determined to finish his career in Morgantown, Jenkins worked his way back into the starting lineup for the 2012 season and helped the Mountaineers win their first five games and earn a Top 5 national ranking. The season ended, however, on a negative note as WVU lost five of its final seven regular season games and was defeated by Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

Throughout all of the changes, which included a third new head coach in Dana Holgorsen, Jenkins took the opportunity to learn and now he wants to share what he has learned with future Mountaineer hopefuls.

“Every coach I had the opportunity to work with taught me new techniques and new ways to move my feet,” Jenkins said. “I want to share what I have learned with the players here in order to help them reach their dreams.”

Helping Jenkins with this task will be Alston and Shamblin.

“Obviously, playing with Shawne these past four years, we have developed a friendship and he joins me in wanting to teach others what we have learned over the years. Matt (Shamblin) was a great player at South and brings a lot with him that I think can be a benefit to area players.”

The two-day camp will take place in two sessions. The first, which begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 12 noon, will be for players in the fourth through seventh grades while the second (grades 8-12) will run from 4 til 7 p.m.

Cost of the camp is $100 and interested individuals may sign up until the dates of the camp.

“We are still working out everyone who will be on our staff,” Jenkins said. “My brother Billy (Johnson) will be one of our coaches, but the rest of the staff is still being formulated.”

Serving as the camp’s organizer is Nathan Conley, who recently graduated from The Citadel with a degree in business administration. Interested parties may contact him at nconley1@outlook.com or go to the camp’s website at joshjenkinsandshawnealston.eventbrite.com