Prairie Ridge football coach Chris Schremp used Friday night to get in touch with the program’s feminine side.
A half hour into a meeting with Wolves parents from all levels, the fathers and sons adjourned to the cafeteria for trivia games, while Schremp offered the mothers a version of Prairie Ridge Football 101.
He talked about safety and technique in teaching methods. He talked about the emotions the mothers will see their sons experience. And he talked a lot about the Wolves’ triple-option offense, which, when executed well can be such a beautiful sight.
Schremp was considering how the coaches could freshen up their approach to the season and decided their first Moms’ Clinic might be beneficial.
“Moms run most of the families anyway,” Schremp said. “If we get them on board and they understand what players are going through, they can sit at a football game and really enjoy it and know what’s going on. We thought it would be a better experience for everybody.”
Schremp assured the mothers that his staff has made proper tackling and blocking technique, similar to those of USA Football’s Heads Up program, a priority for at least five years.
He also told mentioned that while their sons may not like football at some moments during the season, there is a good chance they will cry when it’s over.
Then, Schremp got to the option, using a clip from “The Simpsons” where Bart tries to steal a cookie and a shell game ensues to illustrate what the option does. It was fitting since so much sleight of hand is utilized in the offense.
Tracey Dowdle, whose son Hunter is a freshman football player, knows a lot about the game, having kept statistics at Watseka High School and watched her brothers play.
“I thought it was great,” Dowdle said. “I like to hear about the triple option because I know a lot of teams don’t
run it, so that was really interesting. It’s so true what he said about what they eat and keeping them healthy. And the proper technique, you want them to be safe, so that was really good.”
Lisa Berg, whose son Pete is a freshman safety, felt the clinic was helpful.
“Obviously, [Schremp] is passionate about football and the kids, that’s the most important thing,” Berg said. “I know more about basketball, this was great. You hear around town about the option offense, and I didn’t know what that meant. Now we kind of know, we have a little bit of an idea.”
Schremp projected images from his laptop to show the option and the Wolves’ 3-5-3 defense, explaining the positions in terms the women could understand.
Jan Brown has two sons in the program, sophomore Dean who is out with an ACL injury and freshman Cole. Her husband Mike is director of the Junior Wolves feeder program and knows the intricacies of the option.
“I knew a lot of it, but seeing the defense was neat for me,” Brown said. “I love the fact that [Schremp] reached out to the parents, especially the moms. It was a great idea to incorporate the plays. It was great that he showed that.”
There were some football safety details that Schremp would not fully divulge, other than issuing a warning about pile-ups at the end of plays.
“There’s things that happen in those piles you don’t want to know about,” he said.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.