Ladies Football Clinic was a BIG HIT!!
- Terri Cunningham
- Saturday, April 25th, 2009
April 25, 2009
Miranda Pederson/Daily News Heather Stroupe of Bowling Green is strong-armed by GIna Boyd of Madisonville Saturday at the Ladies Football Clinic at Western Kentucky University's Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Clinic shows football's not just â€˜a guy's sport'
Women take part in WKU clinic to learn about the sport, hang with head coach Elson
By JOANIE BAKER, The Daily News, email@example.com Saturday, April 25, 2009 11:16 PM CDT
Betty Jo Beard knows football.
She's watched her grandson, Western Kentucky University sophomore safety Ryan Beard, tear up the turf on the new field. She watched her own sons throw passes during their college days. And she even stood gameside to Hilltopper games when she was a cheerleader at the old stadium formerly located at the top of the hill.
Yeah, Betty Jo Beard knows football - but not as well as she thought.
On Saturday, she joined her daughters and nearly 100 other women for the second annual Ladies Football Clinic at WKU.
The day was filled with questions, answers from head coach David Elson, and special sessions with offense, defense and strength coaches, who explained everything from plays to players in a full day of Football 101.
Throughout the day, the women received a tour of the facilities, including the weight room and team room, and even enjoyed a fashion show of game-day couture for fans while they ate lunch.
Beard said she always loved watching football, but thinks she has a better understanding of why they run certain plays and what each player does during the game.
"I think the more you know, the more you can appreciate things," she said. "... This has helped me be a better critic and hopefully a better fan and more sympathetic to coaches and players."
Linda Nowell - wife of Jim Nowell, WKU's director of strength and conditioning - said when they moved to WKU two years ago, she asked when the ladies clinic would start. Having helped with previous programs at Mississippi State University, Nowell said that when she learned WKU didn't have the program she knew it was important to start one.
"The point is to get women educated on football," she said. "They come to the game or sit by the TV and enjoy time with their husbands, and we want them to know what's going on and enjoy it."
The program, Nowell said, also makes an attempt to show the women all the facets that go into making a college football player.
Sharon Woodward of Bowling Green was one of the many who returned from the first program last year.
"It's just fun, football is not just a guy's sport," she said. "And it's important to support our local university, and anytime you can support the university and student-athletes I think it's a good thing."
Elson said he enjoys the sessions because they make him realize the different levels of understanding and they help the team build fans and community support.
"We live this every day, so many things seem second nature," he said. "It makes you realize everyone has their own world and understanding."
While many of the women said they took notes from the coach's explanations of kickoff coverage, punt returns and field goal blocks, Elson said he took some notes of his own. He said he wrote down some of their questions and enjoyed "seeing the light come on" as many began to gain a deeper understanding of the game.
"It builds our fan base and as we educate people they get connected with the program," Elson said. "It's exciting, and I think it's a sign of what's coming with our program with I-A football."
Pam Crabtree said she has watched football for years with her husband but learned a lot Saturday as coaches answered questions she never would have asked.
She said she was looking forward to attending the Red-White scrimmage game Saturday night so she could pull out her notes and test her newfound knowledge.
"I think it will be so fun to go to the game tonight and know the positions and players and who's doing what," she said. "And when they do a play they talked about today, I'll say, â€˜I know that.' I'm looking forward to that."
Miranda Pederson/Daily News Payton Spear, 11, of
Bowling Green runs the ball during a drill Saturday at
the Ladies Football Clinic at Western Kentucky
University'sHouchens-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Miranda Pederson/Daily News Jim Nowell, the director
of strength and coordination for the WKU football team,
barks instructions to the participants of the Ladies
Football Clinic on Saturday at Western Kentucky
University's Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Miranda Pederson/Daily News The defense huddles up
before their scrimmage with the offense Saturday at the
Ladies Football Clinic at Western Kentucky University's
Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium.
For more photos of the 2009 Ladies Football Clinic please view WKU Health Services Photo Galleries!!