When Williamsburg Christian Academy’s annual basketball camp returns this summer, it will mark the first time the camp will be held after the death of longtime host coach Edgar Randall. While coach Randall may not be there in person this year, he will be in name and spirit.
Randall, who spent 37 years as a coach in Williamsburg, died in January after a prolonged battle with colon cancer. In addition to serving as a coach and physical education teacher at Williamsburg Christian Academy, Bruton High School and Hornsby Middle School, he hosted the Flying Eagle Basketball Camp every summer at WCA for the past 25 years.
This year, the camp will be run on by his two sons, Brandon and Bryan, and they’ll be doing more than just carrying on his spirit. Beginning this year, what was formerly the Flying Eagle Basketball Camp will from now on be the Edgar Randall Basketball Camp.
According to Brandon Randall, the brothers had spoken with their father last year about helping to run the camp this year. Though they hadn’t planned for him not to be here, they’re ready and prepared to continue one of their father’s biggest passion projects.
“It’s very exciting, and I’m also a little nervous, but only because he set a high bar, I know this camp meant a lot to him, to all of us” said Brandon Randall. “This is a chance to honor his legacy, I strive to make him proud every day, and part of that’s going to be keeping the camp going that he flawlessly ran for 25 years.”
While there have been some small changes to how the basketball camp will be run — the biggest one was creating a website to allow online registration — Brandon said that the fundamentals will remain the same, and that the focus will be on just keeping things running smoothly.
Brandon described how the biggest challenge has been approaching what he sees as his father’s biggest legacy, and what he wants to the main focus of the camp to remain: impacting young people through sports, instilling leadership and character and using athletics as a platform to do something more for each kid.
“My dad was an incredible man, things he did through this camp has impacted hundreds of kids and hundreds of families over the years, including ours, and that’s not by accident, that was the mission,” said Brandon. “He poured everything he had into everything he did, and we’re not going to let up, we’re looking to make lifelong impacts and build lifelong relationships, just like he did.”
As always, the camp will be open to boys and girls, and will be available to players from rising third graders to rising 11th graders. Of the 50 spots per week, 20 have already been filled.
The new name and leadership for the summer basketball camp that Williamsburg Christian Academy has played host to for a quarter of a century also has a lot of meaning for many staff members at the school.
Randall worked at WCA as a teacher, coach and athletic director from 1994-2004, and several staff members recall working alongside him. Others, such as admissions director Cassie Bradshaw, were some of the many students who took lessons from “Coach Edgar”, on and off the court.
“I was in his class every day, and I played for the basketball team he coached,” said Bradshaw. “He impacted every student he worked with, in athletics, but also serving as a role model, he had a way of speaking to students that made everyone feel loved and valued, while maintaining high standards for his students.”
What makes the upcoming Edgar Randall Basketball Camp special, according to Bradshaw, is more than just carrying his name. It’s knowing that his sons will carry on his legacy.
“We’re so excited that Brandon and Bryan are going to continue this legacy, they might deny it, but they’re a lot like their dad, and they embody a lot of the same features that made Coach Edgar have such an impact year after year," said Bradshaw. “We’re proud that the camp that meant so much to him will now bear his name, but we’re even more proud that the lessons and values he taught will still have a home there.”
The 26th annual Edgar Randall basketball camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 17-21 and 24-28 at Williamsburg Christian Academy. It costs $125 each week per camper, and you can register online at erbballcamp.com.
Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.