July 26, 2012
CHOUDRANT, La. - A sold-out crowd took in the sights and sounds of the gridiron Thursday afternoon at the third annual Pigskins and Pearls Women's Clinic and Luncheon at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant as select coaches and players from the Louisiana Tech football team demonstrated "Football 101" for the women in attendance.
The event, organized by Kate Dykes, the wife of head football coach Sonny Dykes, featured Louisiana Tech players and coaches diving into the playbook and giving fans a chance to learn the basics that occur on the field on a day-to-day basis and pick their brains on the upcoming season.
"Each year we've kind of added some new people and events, but it has been awesome because we have been lucky enough to sell out again," Kate Dykes said. "I wanted to do it to get to know the women of the community and get them involved with Louisiana Tech football because it's more fun if they are, but also to give back to the Boy's and Girl's Club."
For the third straight year, there was not a seat to be found at the luncheon with all proceeds earned from the luncheon and clinic going to the local Boy's and Girl's Club, who had two representatives in attendance to see the turnout for themselves.
While Dykes could not participate in the event due to his presence at the Western Athletic Conference Media Day in Las Vegas, Nev., he did share his thoughts on the upcoming season in a short video played at the beginning of the clinic.
The clinic featured assistant coach Rob Likens, linebackers' coach Jeff Koonz, both who gave the women an idea of what occurs on opposite sides of the field, while Damon Harrington finished off the clinic with an explanation on the importance of strength and conditioning for the program.
Kate Dykes said it is important for the fans to see a lighter side to the coaches and players at events such as the one today, rather than the tough exterior seen on the field most days.
"The players have tons of personality," she said. "They work all the time and our coaches are daddies at home, they are husbands at home, and sometimes I think just as a fan you don't think of it that way. It's fun to get to see that side of it and their sense of humor."
Likens kicked off the clinic with an in-depth explanation of the wide receiver position and what it entails, while senior wide receiver Quinton Patton demonstrated certain techniques he uses on gameday.
Following Likens' offensive clinic, it was time for Koonz to give fans some insight into what occurs on the defensive side of the football, including a breakdown of each defensive position on the field with a concentration on the linebackers.
Strength and conditioning was the next topic for the women with Harrington the featured speaker for that particular topic.
As Harrington spoke on the importance of strength and conditioning for the players and the equipment used, he had sophomore running back Hunter Lee demonstrated a few of his go-to moves in the weight room for the packed crowd.
"This is the first year I've been able to come," Meg Harrington, wife of strength and conditioning coach Damon Harrington, said. "I knew Damon was speaking and I know a lot of what his job entails, but to hear him explain it in front of a large group of women was interesting for me. I was very impressed with the large turnout and I was so glad that we came here to learn about football but we're really here for the benefit of the kids."
The luncheon closed with a question and answer session with all six players with topics ranging from their thoughts on the 2012 season to their off-the-field activities.