6th Annual Tommy Bowden Ladies Football Clinic Recap
CLEMSON -- Hundreds of football starved women filled Jervey Gym on Saturday to meet Head Coach Tommy Bowden, get autographs and pictures and to see what’s really under those football uniforms that C.J. Gaddis and Will Procter wear. The day began with a registration at 8:30 followed by picture taking and autograph sessions with Clemson coaches and selected players. Players Barry Richardson, Dustin Fry, Will Proctor and C.J. Gaddis were on hand to greet and meet the crowd. The ladies cheered as highlights of last season played on the giant screen. It was a mixed crowd of Clemson fans. From grandmothers to granddaughters and all in between, many generations of Clemson women filled the stands.
First time attendees mother and daughter Kelley and Mandy Mims drove from Orangeburg to attend the festivities. Husband Robbie Mims was left behind as the two went from table to table collecting autographs and pictures with the coaches. Kelley, a University of South Carolina graduate had no problems having her picture take with coach Bowden and the rest of the staff. Mandy said she was raised right by her father, a long time Clemson supporter. It seems the years of coming to Clemson games left a strong impression on the young daughter as she proudly announced that she would be attending Clemson University as a freshman in a couple weeks.
The master of ceremonies Brad Scott kept the audience laughing and the program moving along with jokes and stories. After opening comments from Tommy Bowden, new offense coordinator Rob Spence and defensive coordinator Vic Koenning walked the crowd through the offensives and defensives by lining up selected audience members in basic formations. Many in the crowd listened intently as player positions were described in detail on both sides of the line. One of the highlights of the day was the very detailed descriptions of the uniform and it components as they were removed from C.J. Gaddis and Will Proctor. From the whistles, hollers and yells it seems that the off-season conditioning program is working very well.
The day ended with the traditional running down the hill and onto the playing field at Death Valley. Gathering around Howard’s Rock the ladies yelled and screamed as the Tiger whipped them into a game-time frenzy. The Tiger Rag played over the stadium speakers as the Tiger fired the cannon and led the screaming mass down the hill. They all laughed as they spilled onto the field. Many pictures were taken and hugs given to friends and the coaching staff as they slowly walked back up the hill and out of the stadium to their cars for the ride home.
Football is in the air in Clemson. With the Orange and White spring game a distant memory the Ladies Football clinic is truly the start of the fall football season. The players report for fall practice in a couple of days. Fan appreciation day is in a couple of weeks and by the end of the month Texas A&M comes rolling into Death Valley for the first game of the season. Football season might be less than a month away. But don’t tell that to the Clemson ladies that gather on campus Saturday. For them it’s already started.
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