Ladies Football 101 Clinic, Friday, June 8th

Do you attend Mississippi State football games? Are you interested in learning more about the basics of football in general? Do you want a more behind-the-scenes perspective of MSU football? If you are 21 years or older and female, then the MSU football Ladies Football 101 Clinic is exactly what you are looking for.

"This summer will be our 4th annual ladies football 101 clinic," said Brad Pendergrass, Mississippi State's Coordinator of Football Operations. "We've had an increasing response to the clinic each year."

Approximately 25 ladies attended the first clinic and that number has quadrupled the past two years. And Brad hopes it will grow even more this year.

"Last year, it was right around 100," he said. "And we hope to continue to make it bigger and better every year."

The clinic, which costs $100, will begin at 8 a.m. Friday with registration at the Palmeiro Center. The first session, which will feature either the offensive or defensive coaches, will start at 9 a.m. At 11:15 an academic presentation will be given by the athletic department academic staff. Lunch will be served in the Bryce Griffis Banquet Room, which is adjacent to the Palmeiro Center. After lunch, Phil Silva, the MSU athletic department equipment manager, will give an equipment presentation. Following that, there will be a Q&A session with one of the current players. The other session, either offense or defense, will follow the Q&A. At about 3:45 everyone will go out into the Palmeiro Center and do some things on the field until 5:00. It will include doing some stretching and a few other things similar to what the MSU football players do during practice. While it won't require much physical exertion, it will allow the ladies in attendance a chance to see what is done during certain portions of a typical practice session. A few minutes before the session ends, the defensive and offensive coaches will line up separate groups of ladies and have them run a couple of plays against each other. Don't forget to wear comfortable clothing if you want to participate in the Palmeiro Center on-the-field activities.

Brad explains in more detail what will go on during the defensive and offensive coaches sessions.

"It's a classroom type setting," he explained. "In the morning our offensive or defensive staff have a two hour session on the basics of their side of the ball and in the afternoon the rest of the staff will present the basics of their side."

But don't fret, it won't be the type classroom setting you remember when you were in college. It will be a very informal setting where you can ask questions at any time.

"(Although) it's a classroom setting, it will be a very open environment, so if they have a question they can raise their hand and it will be answered very quickly," said Brad. "Our staff is extremely easy to approach and talk to."

Including head coach Sylvester Croom.

"Coach Croom is very accommodating to these type things," noted Brad. "He will be around all day and accommodate any of the ladies that want to talk to him or have their pictures taken with him. And he will also speak to the group."

And with several new coaches on the staff it will give the ladies a chance to meet each one of them and learn more about them as individuals, not just the coaches that you see on the field during games.

"One of the positives this year is we have some new coaches that the ladies have never met and they will get to meet them during the clinic," said Brad. "It will give the ladies a chance to talk to them and get to know them on a personal basis."

And the clinic will also give the ladies a chance to learn the ins and outs of the Mississippi State football program itself.

"Basically, we are giving them a behind the scenes view of what goes on," explained Brad. "I think a lot of the ladies have been surprised at the amount of detail and all the things that go into what we do to prepare for a game on a weekly basis.

"And a lot of them have told us they can now go to a game and better understand what is going on during the game itself. They don't feel that they are just there. They feel more like they are participating with the rest of their family."

If you are interested in attending the clinic, you can call the MSU football office at 662-325-2534. But don't tell your husband or boyfriend. Surprise him by knowing exactly what he means the next time he starts talking about a zone defense or a blitz. Heck, you may want to explain the intricacies of the game to him the next time he starts talking football. And, for good measure, you can show him that picture of you and Coach Croom together.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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