Dolphins cheerleaders help cap off week-long event; Duper is Super
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH — There was plenty to cheer about Friday in Plymouth.
Over 30 lucky, young cheerleaders were able to meet a couple of NFL cheerleaders to cap off a week-long Washington County Recreation cheerleading camp.
Lilly Robbins and Kayla Patterson, a pair of Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, appeared at Plymouth High School on Friday evening. The cheerleaders met the campers, signed autographs and took photos with all the girls, who ranged in age from 6 to 15. The campers came from Washington, Beaufort, Martin and Chowan counties.
Robbins said the young cheerleaders did a nice job.
For those young Washington County cheerleaders aspiring to cheer in the NFL one day, they should be prepared to put in some long hours.
Robbins noted that the cheerleaders spend a great deal of time together, which is a good bonding experience.
While the Dolphins cheerleaders were busy with their campers, a pair of former Miami football greats were participating in a camp on the football field. Charles Bowser, a former standout at Plymouth High School, was joined by former Dolphins teammate Mark “Super” Duper for the Second Charles Bowser NFL Youth Football Camp.
Robbins, who has been with the Dolphins cheerleaders for three years, and Patterson, a two-year veteran, said they were honored to be a part of Washington County’s cheerleading camp.
Plymouth is just the latest of several stops the cheerleaders have made in their careers. Robbins has made an appearance in the Middle East to visit the troops, and took part in promotions in London when the Dolphins played there last year.
Robbins and Patterson also appear in several events closer to home, taking part in various camps, fundraisers and the annual Dolphins Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Patterson and Robbins said they enjoy it all, especially the rush they get from performing in front of the home crowd at Dolphins games.
Duper truly is Super
By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
PLYMOUTH — More than a hundred kids flocked to Plymouth Friday afternoon in hopes of stealing a page from former Miami Dolphins great Mark Duper’s playbook.
The three-time all-pro wide receiver was one of the main attractions at this weekend’s Second Charles Bowser NFL Youth Football Camp.
At Friday’s camp, Duper — who entered the league the same year as Bowser — reminded the kids that if they keep up their grades, work hard and focus on their goal, the impossible can happen. After all, he’s living proof.
Duper grew up in the small town of Pineville, Louisiana and later attended Division 1-AA Northwestern State University. However, Duper never played college football until his senior year. Duper had a been a track star at NSU and was part of the 1981 National Champion 400-meter relay team. He decided to go out for the football team the following year after a wager with a fellow member of that relay team.
As a walk-on, Duper broke into the starting lineup and became an immediate star.
The following spring, the Miami Dolphins made him their second round selection in the 1982 draft.
By mid-season of his rookie year, the 5’11” Duper was defying the odds once again, breaking into the Dolphins’ starting lineup, a slot he’d occupy for the next 10 seasons.
In 1983, Duper was elected to his first pro bowl. The following year, he was back in Hawaii after catching 71 passes for 1,306 yards with eight touchdowns. It was during that season, that Duper was given the nickname Mark “Super” Duper. Duper later changed his name legally to reflect that nickname.
In 1986, Duper enjoyed the best year of his career, hauling in 71 passes for 1,311 and 11 touchdowns.
Teamed with Mark Clayton, Duper was part of one of the most dynamic receiving duo’s of the 1980 — “The Marks Brothers.”
In 1992, Duper retired from the NFL as the Miami Dolphins’ career leader in receptions (511), yards (8,869) and touchdowns (59).
His message to the kids on Friday evening was simple — this can happen to you.
It’s a message that the campers took to heart.
Seven year-old Dominique Hill, a first-time football camp participant also learned a lot from the former all-pro.
Plymouth Mayor Brian Roth was thankful for Charles Bowser and Duper’s support in helping the children of his community.
It’s all part of being a role model, Duper said.