WARREN - Warren G. Harding defensive ends coach Vince Peterson began talking to the gathering at the end of Tuesday's Mims-Manoa football camp at Mollenkopf Stadium.
Peterson, an adult probation officer in charge for the Trumbull County court system, proudly wore his Youngstown State University polo shirt. But his badge hung from a chain around his neck and his gun was visible on his hip - hanging in a holster.
Peterson, 48, told the group to raise their hands. Some did nonchalantly. Peterson repeated his command, but in a forceful tone.
Once he saw the group followed the instructions, Peterson demanded the group lay on the ground - part of an arrest procedure.
"I have used that before because that's something I use in my job," Peterson said. "I've worked drug task force, U.S. Marshals Task Force. Those are positions you don't want children or anyone to be with their hands in the air or down flat on the ground. Those are two commands I use when I do my job."
It was used to shock the group in hopes that Peterson or no other officer will have to encounter any of these campers.
Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo
Warren G. Harding defensive ends coach Vince Peterson talks to campers at Tuesday’s Mims-Manoa football camp at Mollenkopf Stadium. Peterson talked about more than football with the campers.
Warren G. Harding freshman Keemari Murray said the technique worked on him.
"It shocked me because it came out of nowhere, but I really don't want to do that," Murray said.
The main theme of Peterson's speech was have respect for others and yourself. It's something WGH coach Steve Arnold has interwoven into the Raiders.
"With some of our varsity players, it's something coach Arnold is instilling right now," Peterson said. "Respect goes a long way. You've got to remember, football, you're not going to be able to do that your entire life. You're going to have to meet people, form connections and so forth.
"From our generation in the 80s, we were taught respect. Respect will get you further a lot of times than your football talent will."
Peterson, who played for Warren Western Reserve and at YSU, said the head of the Mims-Manoa camp, Nick Frankos, shares his views.
"What's great about it is Nicky incorporates a lot of different values, along with football," Peterson said. "Nicky and I played against each other at Harding-Reserve and we played against each other at Youngstown State and Cincinnati. I think we both came from very good backgrounds. We had good coaches who invested in us. I think Nicky is trying to do more than just football. More than likely, there won't be a lot of Mario Manninghams, Boom Herrons or Sidney Glovers."
Being a good football players takes more than talent. Hard work and self-disciple is required, Peterson said.
"If you want to be committed, it's going to show," he said.
Murray, who is a running back, said he is looking to stay on the straight and narrow.
"Try my best, keep my head straight, be positive, don't do anything bad outside of football or on the field," Murray said.