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Football program hosts event to honor moms

Coach Bush gives moms a crash course in special teams.

Head football coach Ervin Chandler is big on honoring those who have the most impact on his players. He’s also big on traditions. That’s why he’s currently preparing for the second annual “Women of Influence” clinic.

The event, which is scheduled for April 30, is meant as a way to indoctrinate moms into his program by offering a crash course on what Panther football is all about. But, most importantly, it’s to show the mothers of his players how much they mean to everyone.

“Moms are the heart of our football program,” Coach Chandler said. “We depend a lot on moms to help out with our events. Dads do a lot too, but there is nothing like the motherly love our moms give.”

After the football coaches and their wives are introduced, the clinic will kick off with some football knowledge.

“The main point of the day is to be able to take the time to give them a little Football 101 in offense, defense and special teams and show them what we do on a daily basis with their kids,” Coach Chandler said. “We are wining and dining them that day, too, but some of them get into knowing the game of football. It’s neat how much they are paying attention.”

Coach Chandler has a soft spot when it comes to moms. His own mother was a single mom who raised three children. He knows first-hand how important they are in the lives of his players.

“Our Women of Influence is not only about teaching them the game, it’s to honor our moms,” he said. “As a coach, I want to make sure these kids understand how important moms are and tell them you love them as much as you can, especially those moms who are raising their boys alone. My mom raised me without a father around, so this is just the nature of me growing up.”

Coach Chandler is excited to see his players with their moms.

“We want moms to come in that day and be spoiled by their sons,” he said. “We give them a break for a change and serve them lunch. Moms get to sit down and the boys take care of them. We want them to feel extra special that day.”

In addition to the pampering, there will be a hands-on contest.

“Last year, there was also a very intense game of 7-on-7 between the moms, but this year’s activity will be a little different,” he said.

Coach Chandler promises it will still give them a chance to be competitive with their sons.

Chandler said the closing segment of the day is a surprise for his moms, but assures everyone it will be special.

“It’s fun to bring in the moms and see them get excited about football, but it’s also a great opportunity to show our appreciation,” he said. “When we end the day, it will tug at their hearts. And there will be tears flowing for sure. It’s nice to see the soft side of my players. I like to see them open up to their moms.”