Monday, July 6, 2020

Football clinic a hit before annual Spring Game

April 13, 2019
Senior defensive tackle Raequan Williams leads kids in a cheer. The MSU football team held its annual youth clinic at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building on April 13, 2019.
Senior defensive tackle Raequan Williams leads kids in a cheer. The MSU football team held its annual youth clinic at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building on April 13, 2019. —
Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Hundreds of kids, ages 7-12, were able to work out with the Spartan players at four different stations, including passing, footwork and defensive drills at the annual kids' clinic.

Groups of around 50 kids were led around by players including junior receiver Cody White, senior offensive tackle Cole Chewins, junior cornerback Josiah Scott and senior defensive tackle Naquan Jones.

Freshman offensive lineman Spencer Brown was running the defensive back stations outside on the practice field.

“It’s nice, because I used to be their age, in the same spot. It’s cool putting it on for the program, putting it on for the State,” Brown said.

Brown was just one of the players that the younger fans were able to interact with. Others present included fifth year senior quarterback Brian Lewerke, sophomore quarterback Rocky Lombardi and seniors Kenny Willekes and Joe Bachie. After the conclusion of the rotations, fans were allowed photo opportunities with any of the players at the clinic.

Tyler Bograkos, 7, was in attendance and was thrilled to be able to participate in the clinic.

“Getting a picture with Raequan Williams,” Bograkos said was the highlight of the day for him. Williams is his favorite player because “he gets a lot of tackles all the time because he’s sorta the best player in the world.”

The players enjoy this annual tradition because it allows for them to connect with the younger fans and give back to the community.

Fifth-year senior long snapper Ryan Armour was viewed as a hero for the day by the fans.

“It’s kind of amazing, an eight-year-old kid told me that he saw me on tv before," Armour said. "That was really cool."

Nine year-old Elise Whitfield said she struggled with catching the ball in the passing drills, but had a great time. Whitfield’s favorite drill was the defensive back drills.

“You had to run around the big circle … and then the players would roll a ball to you and you had to catch it,” Whitfield said.

Coach Mark Dantonio addressed the participants at the conclusion of the clinic, thanking them for coming out for the 12th annual clinic.

“It was a great day today ... allowing you guys to be around our players, but just as importantly, having our players around you," Dantonio said.

Dantonio says that he hopes that the kids will remember the memories of the clinic for the rest of their lives.



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