Monthly Archives: June 2009
Hyattsville, Maryland, June 6, 2009
|New York Sharks||6||6||0||6||18|
NY – (06:04) Mulligan 5 yard run (Kick failed)
DC – (05:45) Hemlock 75 yard kickoff return (Hemlock kick)
DC – (12:43) Hamlin 1 yard run (Hemlock kick)
DC – (02:25) Matthews 5 yard run (Hemlock kick)
NY – (00:27) Bonds 24 yard pass from Mulligan (Kick failed)
DC – (00:12)Stephenson 70 yard kickoff return (Kick failed)
DC – (08:52) Bentley 1 yard run (Hemlock kick)
NY – (01:46) Oppel 1 yard run (Run failed)
The 3rd Annual NFL-JPD Football Clinic for girls was held on Saturday and Sunday, February 7-8th, 2009. This free 2-day clinic hosted and run by players and coaches from the NY Sharks women’s professional football team took place at the World Champion New York Giants practice bubble, next to Giants stadium.
Open to girls ages 13-17, the football clinic brought about 150 participants from the Tri-State area and judging from the looks on their faces, was another success.
Leslie Dock, Sharks Director of Community Events & Appearances, volunteered as the Site Administrator and worked alongside Sharks team owner Andra Douglas, Sharks VP of Operations Dana Sparling and Sharks Head Coach Bob Breschard to produce the event. Leslie began organizing the event in September of 2008. The Sharks players were instrumental in recruiting the 150 plus participants. Former player Veta Williams even brought a bus load of girls from the school where she teaches on Long Island.
Leslie, along with players Jen Blum, Ann “Bird” Dailey, Courtney Ray, Corie Gaidusek, Tiffany Robinson, Brooke McKinney, Manoucha “Nikki” Joseph, Danielle Caddy, Blessing Withers, Chrissy Pagan, Amber Knighten, Lynn Lewis and Dana Sparling, made up the NY Sharks players coaching staff. In addition from the Sharks staff were Dave Maxwell, Pat Brown.
Along with teaching the basic skills of football came Life Skills where Leslie talked about goal setting and responsibilities. Next, the group was split up into teams and taught different player positions and how to hold, catch and throw the football. Drills continued with hand and foot placement.
What was the range of experience from these young girls? Leslie said that there were one or two girls on her team that not only never handled a football, but also never participated in a team sport, which certainly took a lot of courage. “The focus was to teach confidence, team spirit and most of all to have fun without any pressure to win”.
Joining the clinic for the third year was twins Jenna and Paige Goldsack who play lineman on a boys tackle football team at New Jersey’s Rutherford High School. Nick, their father sent the following to Sharks owner Andra Douglas. “Thank you and all the sharks for another great weekend of football. The Twins had a blast. If not for the Sharks encouragement I truly feel the twins wouldn’t be working out this hard. You guys (ahem ) ladies are great roll models for all young ladies to look up to”. When it came down to it, the girls loved being able to play with other girls that shared their passion.
Taya Wyss is part of a group called WAGs, Wives and Girlfriends (of NY Giants.) She met the Sharks when they were working at a Giants game and, after talking to some of the Shark payers she learned about their JPD program. Taya was looking for an organization that she felt compelled to support with both time and money. “I love football and the thought of empowering young women. I felt compelled to assist in creating awareness of both the JPD program and women’s tackle football”. With the assistance of the WAGs, she was able to come up with some funding, particularly the cost of the buses that took the girls to and from three locations in NYC.
Taya eagerly attended the event and was able to speak not only with the girls but also their parents, who said that at first were not keen on their daughters playing a rough contact sport. “Once they saw them play”, said Taya, “they accepted that they were not in that much danger and really enjoying themselves”.
Coach Gorden from Truman High School, in the Bronx, brought his flag team, which was formed after 8 years of girls asking to have their own football team. He did not coach at the JPD but simply watched. Asked if he learned anything from our player staff, he admitted that a lot was taken in, particularly the drills. Taya overheard Andra giving coaching tips upon his request. “I thought how cool it was”, said Taya, “that a professional woman football player was providing coaching to a male football coach as well as informing him of how well his team was performing”.
Taya then asked Coach Gorden if the ever taught a boys team and if so what the difference was. He said that with his experience coaching the boys he would tell them, “Go do this” and they would do it. However, girls will do it but ask why they are doing it. Both Taya and Leslie agreed that females behave this way so that they can internalize the information and not have to ask again.
Some feedback, so far? Gorden was so impressed with the outcome of the two-day event that the Lady Mustangs have been looking to get a spring game going with two other high schools in his area.
The annual NFL-JPD Program is open to any girl between the ages of 13 and 17 regardless of their residence.
By Merle Exit