Published July 15, 2021 at 3:54pm.
Story and photos by Jan Osborn.
Some encounters happen by circumstance, and others are intentional, but when Lubbock Smith, III met John D. Steinmetz, it was considered lucky. It was a Saturday morning and both men had decided to slip away for a quiet breakfast by themselves at Lucky’s Hot Chicken. During their solo breakfasts, John overheard Lubbock telling a friend on the phone that he was just fine with sitting at a restaurant by himself, and that he was working on himself. He went on to explain, “Sometimes you need a little self-care.” When Lubbock hung up his phone, he saw John looking at him. John asked him, “What do you know about self-care?” Lubbock explained to John that to be able to serve others and be there for them, he must be there for himself and take care of himself. This intrigued John and he decided he wanted to learn a little bit more about Lubbock.
Born and raised in Oak Cliff, Lubbock is a Carter High School 2008 alum, where he was third team all-state in football, earned all-district first team and all-area honors as a senior, and was named Carter HS MVP as well as defensive MVP. Lubbock graduated from the University of Kansas in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and in 2017 with a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. During his football career at KU, Lubbock was a four-year starter, and he was named 2009 College Football News Freshman All-America Honorable Mention, and The Sporting News Freshman All-Big 12 team.
The longer Lubbock and John visited, the more they found they had in common. Lubbock began to tell John about a program that he had co-founded with two of his best friends, Jeremiah Hatch and Tyler Patmon. These former football players came up with the idea of Camp Exposure, an opportunity for high school football players with potential Division 1 NFL talent who reside in the southern region of Dallas and Fort Worth, to give them a platform to enhance their football talents, get recognition from scouts, cultivate their life skills, and develop their character as young men.
As Lubbock continued to talk about his upcoming event for Camp Exposure, John could foresee a great partnership between Highland Park High School and Camp Exposure. As the president and CEO of Vista Bank, John believed this would be the perfect opportunity for the bank to help bring communities together. John contacted Highland Park Athletic Director, Johnny Ringo, and told him of the opportunity to unite the southern Dallas and Highland Park communities around a common love for the sport of football.
Johnny says, “When Coach Allen and I heard about the amazing work that Camp Exposure is doing, to not just elevate elite athletes, but strengthen these young men holistically, we were all in.”
“I truly respect the three young men leading this effort, and with Vista’s focus on financial literacy in South Dallas, it was a natural fit to support Camp Exposure,” John says. “That said, when Highland Park Athletic Director Johnny Ringo and Coach Randy Allen, along with Oak Cliff’s Carter High School Head Coach Spencer Gilbert, I knew we had something special. South Dallas and Highland Park, coming together to elevate these talented young men over more than just football, teaching them ‘how to fish’ through financial literacy, character, leadership, and community service will change lives.”
Camp Exposure will be held Friday through Sunday, July 16 through 18 at Highlander Stadium. Camp Exposure targets historically underrepresented Dallas area high school elite athletes and will provide on and off-the-field instruction to amplify the skills of Dallas’s top elite players in front of collegiate decision-makers.
The chance encounter with Lubbock and John immediately became more than a partnership, it became a friendship. Realizing that their chance meeting happened while eating breakfast at Lucky’s Hot Chicken, the two asked the restaurant to provide food for the upcoming event. Lucky’s Hot Chicken graciously accepted the challenge and will be providing meals throughout the weekend.
Camp Exposure will consist of three day-long sessions featuring skills training, discussions on the business of football, mental health protection, financial literacy training by the experts at Vista Bank, and personal and spiritual inspiration from Camp Exposure leaders. While Friday and Saturday are by invitation only, Sunday is open to the public and free of charge, with festivities and fun provided for families who register in advance. Camp Exposure will conclude on Sunday afternoon with a 7-on-7 football tournament at Highlander Stadium.