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One year later: Connor Barth, Jonathan Cooper & Jay Ross reflect on Barth's season ending injury

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Follow WWAY's sports on Twitter at @WWAYSports

See our story on Connor Barth on WWAY at 11:25pm

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Prior to the 2012 NFL season Connor Barth played in the Jay Ross Celebrity Basketball Classic in Wilmington. The NFL kicker was one of the stars of the game. In 2013 Barth was not as fortunate. He suffered a season ending injury shortly after tip-off. Barth tore his right Achilles. "It was tough. I had never missed a game all the way back to high school," Barth said. "It was kinda a whole new experience for me, but it kinda let me take a step back to understand how blessed I am to do what I'm doing, see it from a different perspective, be a fan for once."

Just a few weeks later Jonathan Cooper also suffered a season ending injury. Cooper broke his leg in an NFL pre-season game. "It is fairly ironic that two former UNC athletes and now two professional football players got hurt early, but we're both on track to do well next season," Cooper said. "It was tough. It hurt me to see that happen." Cooper, like Barth, is also a graduate of Hoggard High. In fact Cooper had a front row seat for Barth's costly spill.

Saturday marks the anniversary of Connor Barth's season ending injury. It's been 365 days, at least for this year Jay Ross will not be holding his celebrity basketball event. "Injuries happen," Ross said. "You can walk down the street and get injured. I'm just glad he's been able to bounce back from it. Connor is a tough guy. It was an unfortunate accident and I'm just glad he's going to be able to continue to play."

Connor Barth added, "I knew I tore it immediately. 15 years ago, maybe my career would have been over, but it's completely healed. It's amazing. Dr. Anderson did a great job with my Achilles and we rehabbed it well in North Carolina and I'm feeling great."

Connor and Casey Barth will hold a free football kicking camp in Wilmington on Sunday afternoon at Hoggard High School. Connor is currently the kicker for the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Casey holds the UNC Tar Heel career field goal record.

Kickin’ It with the Barth Brothers

Free Kicking Camp - All Ages

Sunday, July 13
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Hoggard (Scott Braswell) Stadium
4305 Shipyard Blvd.
Wilmington

 free T shirts for campers
 instruction and kicking demonstrations by Connor, Casey and other local kickers
 instruction on how to warm up, train & prepare mentally from local trainer Hudson Rose
 fun kicking competitions for each age group
 speeches and questions and answers at the end of camp
 all ages welcome
 bring a football and kicking tee if you have one

More info: stbarth1@earthlink.net

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