Elisabeth Townley yelled out “One, Two!” as she got her feet into ready position on the football field.
A group of 87 area moms learned footwork and other techniques in five different drills teaching proper tackling Tuesday night. At Evans High School, current and former Atlanta Falcons spoke about proper equipment fitting and concussion awareness inside the school as part of the team’s Moms Football Safety Clinic. Later, the women went outside to continue their Heads Up training.
“I was kind of nervous about getting out here and finding out what they were going to have us do,” said Townley, whose 12-year-old son, Caleb, plays football in Columbia County. “But it ended up being fun. I feel like I learned a lot about current tackling.”
Wearing a white “Rise Up” T-shirt, TeQuila Williams was ready for the event. With her 9-year-old son, Jonathan, playing football in west Augusta, she said she learned plenty at the clinic.
“We learned about football. We learned about keeping our kids safe,” she said. “And we actually got to experience a little bit of what they experience on the field.”
Last year, the Falcons held a Heads Up Clinic which featured about 200 children ages 6 to 14 at Grovetown High School. Buddy Curry, who played linebacker for Atlanta for eight seasons during the 1980s, returned for the Moms Clinic with former Falcons like Bobby Butler and Ken Oxendine and current players in defensive linemen Cliff Matthews and Malliciah Goodman.
Curry said the clinic gives moms awareness and education about proper tackling techniques, especially with instruction on the field.
“This is an extension, this is the next step,” Curry said. “The kids are going to do what the coaches and moms tell them. Coaches need to understand they can’t coach the way they were coached. They have to be a student of the game. They have to change, and that’s a tough thing. And the moms can be a big facilitator.”