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Burnet football’s Moms Night Out gives participants a better understanding of the sport

A new group of athletes emerged from the meeting room of the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District field house Aug. 4 determined to learn even more about the game of football from those who know it best – the Bulldog coaches and players themselves.

The new group — more than 60 mothers of the current players — had visited Bulldog Field numerous times, but rarely did they understand some of the basic concepts of the sport such as the positions, what the players and coaches do at practices, and why so many coaches are needed on the staff. That all changed when the moms found their sons’ position coaches to undergo some of the drills the young athletes participate in. And some moms had to contact their sons to find out which position they needed to go to. That’s what Barbara Valdez, mother of Gilbert Ray Valdez, did before finding the cornerbacks and receivers coaches.

“I knew he was out on the field –that was it,” she said. “Now I know what he does.”

Barbara caught both passes thrown to her while running routes, a proud moment for the Valdez family.

Senior inside linebacker Coyt Barrow attended the event with his mom, Mendy, who is an assistant principal at Shady Grove Elementary School. Coyt walked around and watched as his mother and the matriarchs of other families practiced throwing, blocking, jamming at the line of scrimmage, and running routes.

“I think it’s a cool thing,” Coyt said. “They get a little more understanding of what we do every day and in the heat.”

Mendy said she didn’t know much about the sport, so the event accomplished what head coach Bryan Wood wanted when he organized it.

“I met the coaches and got to be apart of something my son does,” she said. “It’s about relationships and culture and building a strong foundation.”

“We talk about football family,” Wood said. “Football family is not just coaches and kids. It’s coaches and kids and moms and dads and other children. It’s a family.”

Mendy noted she wasn’t exactly pumped to participate but realized it was important to her son, his coaches and the program.

“My son is a senior, this is my last season with him,” she said. “There’s pride in learning what he does. I want to soak up every minute. I did my mom duty and had a great time while I was here.”

After the drills, senior quarterback Tanner O’Hair, junior running back Dash Denton, and junior receiver Grant Jones helped their moms put on football uniforms complete with the girdles, shoulder pads, shoes, jersey and helmet in a race to see which duo could dress and run to the end zone the fastest. Jones and his mother, Carrie, won until Grant realized one of her cleats had fallen off. The two were laughing so hard while putting the shoe back on that it was unclear which family was declared the winner.

Using muscles and participating in activities the body isn’t used to typically results in stiffness and being sore the next day, no matter the person’s age. Still, chores need to be done at home, and most parents ask their children to do them as part of contributing. So now that the moms have participated in football drills that usually result in sore bodies, will they be more understanding if their sons say their bodies just won’t cooperate?

“They’re going to feel it after today,” Coyt said. “And when they ask us to do something at home, they’ll know.”

“Maybe,” Mendy said. “I might give him a little slack. Maybe.”

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