GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- Former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia was a Gilroy kid who worked hard to earn himself a successful NFL career.
This week back in his hometown, he taught football skills to what could be the next generation of Bay Area star athletes.
Under the hot summer Gilroy skies, kids got a taste of fall at Kirigin Cellars.
"This is where it all began and I thought it was important time, especially coming out of what we just went through, to come back to Gilroy and do something special," Garcia said.
The two-day football camp got kids on the field to learn from local and professional coaches, current and former SJSU football players and, of course, Garcia.
"He's really intense and he does a great job motivating all the kids around here," camper Rio Cruz said. "He really motivated me."
As exciting as it was to learn from such great football minds, today was even bigger than just sports.
The old saying goes, football isn't just about x's and o's, it's about Jimmys and Joes - the players.
After a year of COVID restrictions and quarantine, these players are excited to be back with their friends and fellow athletes once again.
"Seeing all these people out here and we were all doing the drills and having so much fun," camper Savannah Nielsen said.
"I'm glad honestly," camper Nicholas Strangis said. "It was so annoying being inside and doing nothing all day."
"It was nice because the pandemic is over and no more masks," camper and Garcia's daughter, Faith Garcia, said. "I get to see my family and spend time with them."
The parents were happy to see their kids back out with their peers again as well.
"This is really his first opportunity for him to be out there with people his own age and do something fun," parent Evette Trejo said.
"Being out here in public, I think it helps them realize we're getting back to normal and this is what it's like," parent Mike DaSilva said. "The future is bright."
And these stars shined bright today as well and learned valuable lessons while doing it.
"All of the things that you can take from the game and apply it to life, if you do it the right way, you're going to have the chance to be successful," Garcia said. "Be a difference maker, be a game changer, be someone that's a positive influence. Be somebody that lifts others up. Don't bring people down."