Former Auburn Players Sammie Coates, Corey Grant, Chandler Cox to Instruct
By Wil Crews
Tyler Stovall, founder of Stovall Athletics and former member of the Auburn University football team and baseball staff, is bringing his speed and agility camp back to Opelika for the second year running.
The camp is for youth ages 8 and up, and will take place at Opelika High School, July 16, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It provides a unique opportunity for youth who are trying to further their sporting craft, as attendees will have the opportunity to receive direct instruction from former Auburn players Sammie Coates, Corey Grant and Chandler Cox. Through video analysis and competition, the three former Tigers — all of whom have NFL experience — will assist Stovall in coaching campers on footwork, speed work and detailed running mechanics. The cost of the camp is $200, covering instruction, a camp T-shirt, catered lunch, a camp bag, autographed gifts and an awards ceremony.
“I always partner with guys who, first, are big in their faith and are good Christian men,” Stovall said. “And then second, they have a lot to offer to those kids who look up to them; that’s how I decide who to partner with. Those guys have been gracious and understand that God has given them a big platform and influence, so we just use it to the best of our ability to help develop the next generation of athletes.”
Stovall played football for Auburn from 2013-17 as the holder for kicker Daniel Carlson. Before that, he spent six years in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a second-round pick to the Braves directly out high school.
During his time on the Plains, Stovall developed a close relationship with many of the players, earning the endearing nickname “Papa Stove” because of his advanced age. Now, Stovall turns the relationships he made in his playing days into a practical benefit that helps develop young athletes.
“I was kind of like a big brother to those guys [at Auburn], so I just kind of developed those relationships and now try to use those to help impact young people and use those guys that have a platform and influence to help others,” Stovall said.
After coaching as an assistant for the Auburn baseball team and coach Butch Thompson in 2018, Stovall accepted a normal 9-to-5 job. Before long, he realized his passion was helping others through sports.
Stovall then created Stovall Athletics, and the first camp took place later that year.
The camp was such a success that Stovall decided to hold a baseball pitching and catching camp in which he enlisted the help of a former Tiger and No. 1 overall pick to the Detroit Tigers in the 2018 MLB draft.
“I saw there was such a need for it so I went fulltime with Stovall Athletics in 2020, and the rest is history,” he said.
The organization holds multiple camps throughout the year, often using Chocolooco Park in Oxford, Alabama, or local high schools and other facilities for its operations. Stovall offers individual training as well as camps, he said.
“It’s kind of neat because I get kids from all over the state, sometimes out of state,” he said.
In the end, everything Stovall does is rooted in his faith. His beliefs give him an added motivation for helping youth develop into not just great athletes, but great men and women.
“Everything from my logo down represents my faith,” he said. “I’m big on not only adding value to young people through sports, but also adding value to young people by helping them become leaders and good men one day — and the girls the same way. At the end of the day, its more than about sports, it’s about life. I love helping young people, and helping them take not just tools that will help them in the sports world, but tools that will help them in everyday life. I think god has definitely given me a platform through that and I just want to use it to the best of my ability and help represent Christ the right way.”
To find out more about Stovall Athletics or to register for a camp, visit: https://www.stovallathletics.com/.