Trojan 101

Published 7:23 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014


Troy University Athletics held its second annual Troy Football 101 Saturday afternoon. The event was an introduction to the game that offered women an opportunity to learn more about the sport.

Who better to teach them than the coaches and officials, themselves?

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“Some of you know a lot more than I do,” laughed Trojan Head Coach Larry Blakeney.

He took dozens of women through the Trojan experience and introduced his staff, including coaches in charge of special teams, offense and defense.

The event covered more than your basic touchdown, field goal and conversion. Women learned about the eight types of special teams the Trojans have, the team’s most-used defense formation and the reasons for a no-huddle offense.

Dothan resident Melita Smith attended the event for the first time and said she got a lot out of the experience.

“I didn’t know what a nickel meant or the technical side of the game,” she said.

Smith also came to appreciate the conditions the athletes play in after trying on the “tight-fitting” jerseys and “hot” helmet.

After hearing from coaches, the women headed to the locker rooms where they learned more about the uniforms and gear the team wore. They were divided into two teams and changed into jerseys before heading to the field.

The women experienced running from the Trojan helmet as an announcer yelled their names and took photos of Blakeney Field from a whole new vantage point. It was the highlight of Millbrook resident Leigh Howard’s day.

“It was great,” she said. “I came last year and loved it so much I returned this year with my daughters.”

Howard’s experience was just what Heather Hartwell had in mind when she introduced the program. She said she wanted to see more interaction between university athletics and residents of Troy.
“We wanted to get people interested and build that Trojan family,” she said.

The program will continue next year. Plans are to have it closer to the football season and to recognize participants at one of the home games.

Trojan 101 is for women 12 and up. Read more about the day in the Tuesday edition of The Messenger. For more information about the next 101 event, call 670-3683.