USF clinic offers women guide to football, Bulls
TAMPA - It's a blast. That's how Kathy Betancourt describes her past two years' experience as a participant in the USF Women's Clinic centered on football. She'll be back again for the clinic that runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Sun Dome Corral on Bull Run Drive just north of East Fowler Avenue on the University of South Florida campus. Betancourt, a USF graduate and retired staff member, said it's all about having fun while learning about pigskin protocol.The clinic is open to all women, regardless of how much they know about the sport. "Some grew up around football and know a great deal," Betancourt said. "Others are happy to be in the Introduction to Football Level 1 class." But she said they all have one thing in common. "We are looking forward to a day of fun in Bulls Country, and we have an appreciation for what 'footBULL' means to the region as Tampa Bay's only Division I level intercollegiate team." The Bulls open the season at home Aug. 31 against the McNeese State Cowboys. The clinic costs $60 ($25 for students or faculty), and includes lunch, a USF football camp T-shirt and a goodie bag containing an outline of some Bulls plays and workout tips. Bulls Head Coach Willie Taggart is in charge of this year's clinic. Assistant Head Coach Ron Cooper said it will be handled a little differently than previous workshops. Taggart will kick off the program with a pep talk, and football techniques will be the focal point of the indoor morning session. Participants also will learn specifics about each player's position. Taggart's wife, Taneshia, will assist her husband in teaching the methodology of the game. Several other Bulls coaches and players, plus their family members, also will be on hand to lend support to the women participating in the clinic. Following lunch, the class will move outdoors to the playing field, weather permitting, and attendees who want cane call and run plays and even tackle. "It'll be fun, but it will also be safe," Cooper said. "It will be highly organized, and players are not going to be injured." He also noted the on-field participation is strictly up to each student. Those who are apprehensive will be allowed to sit out. The clinic will wrap up with a tour of the school's football facility, Cooper said. "The day's interactions put a face on the whole enterprise," Betancourt said. "We learned more about the lives of the players, the coaches and their families. Competition at this very top level isn't easy, and the stories are compelling." To register, visit www.usffootballcamps.com/one-day-camps.cfm or call (813) 974-7171. Joyce McKenzie can be reached at JoyceCMcKenzie@gmail.com.
The Daystarter: Sunny and dry Memorial Day; meet the caretaker who looks after the fallen; uncertainty over the education budget; why did St. Pete close the Albert Whitted sewage treatment plant?