By Tony Adams
Education in subjects that difficult to grasp or understand is huge part of focus and support groups. A collective group can collaborate and gain common knowledge to educate the masses.
Football is a culture all its own and the Belton Tiger Football Moms love doing it on an annual basis.
The 2014 version of the Tiger Moms had their first meeting of the season Monday night at the Belton Multi-Sports Complex team meeting room. The group got a chance to see all of the different pictures of Belton Tiger Football teams past.
Coordinator Shannon Shackleford welcomed the nearly 80 moms that attended the event. She went over ways to purchase tickets for the games and the different committees within the Tiger Moms.
The opening night speakers were defensive coach Phil Shaffer and his wife, BISD nutritionist Melanie Shaffer. After a brief introduction, Melanie previewed a little of her discussion topic for the next week: nutrition. She then introduced Phil and he proceeded to take the Tiger Moms on a tour of the complex building.
The first stop on the tour was the laundry room. The old fieldhouse contained one washer and one dryer for the entire sports program. The laundry facility at Belton is a state-of-the-art one, with lockers that contain the cleaned jerseys, pants and other items for the players to pick up each morning. The laundry is washed in super-high temperatures and concentrated detergent.
The next stop on the tour was the varsity players’ locker room. The equipment was stowed and the room was very clean. One point that Shaffer made was the athletic program’s focus on extreme cleanliness and it’s attention to staphcoccal prevention.
“We stress cleanliness, as staph is a problem in athletic environments,” said Shaffer. “This locker room has an AC that runs 24 hours a day and kept cool to prevent the spreading of staph.”
As the tour proceeded, there was a series of charts and scales that attracted the attention of the Tiger Moms.
“We have our players weight before and after practices,” explained Shaffer. “If they do not do this, there are consequences. But we do this to ensure player’s hydration and monitor any sudden changes.”
The tour moved down to the training room, where head athletic trainer Craig Bower explained the room, which included an ice whirlpool and a hot tub.
“The ice whirlpool is one that is huge in the prevention of lower-body injuries,” said Bower. “Our cross country teams use them to cool down and it has proved to be very effective in lowering the risk of injury.”
Bower also stressed that their focus is on the athletes, whether in sickness or in health.
“We look after the kids,” said Bower. “We see them healthy and see them when they’re injured. When they’re injured, we work to get them back out on the field. Whether it’s physical therapy or modalities, we work to get them healthy. That’s where we get our pride from.”
The tour concluded on the second floor through the coaches’ offices and hallway to the main jewel of the complex: the weight room and workout facility.
“Coach (Sam) Skidmore is not only our offensive coordinator, he’s the strength and conditioning coordinator for the program,” said Shaffer. “He oversees the workouts for the players and posts them on the boards for the players as guidance to their workouts.”
The Tiger Football Moms meeting schedule has many great topics for the 2014 season. Along with the Football 101 topic, other items include nutrition (9/1), academics (9/8), athletic training/injury prevention/rehabilitation (9/15), offense (9/22), defense (9/29), special teams (10/6), Mom’s practice (10/13), recruiting (10/20), Senior Picture prep night (10/27) and season wrap-up (11/3).
Meetings are at 6 p.m. on Monday nights.
For more information, see their Facebook page “Belton Tiger Football Moms”.