Not long after their sons left the Tom Holzer Ford Field Tuesday night following an intense practice, close to 60 Northville High School football moms (and wives of coaches) took over the turf for a less-than-intense camp.
Their mission: learn about the basics of the sport their sons love, forge stronger bonds with one another and — most importantly — have fun.
Judging by the smiles and laughter that ensued throughout the inaugural 90-minute “Mustang Mom Camp”, it was mission accomplished on all levels.
“This is a really cool idea,” said Stacey Stover, the mom of a sophomore Mustang and one of the organizers of the camp. “I have a very basic knowledge of football, so I’m looking to expand that tonight.”
First-year Northville Head Coach Brent Luplow said he borrowed the idea from an annual moms event Brighton High School organized during his tenure as a Bulldog assistant coach.
“The No. 1 objective,” Luplow shared, “is for the moms to have fun. They give so much to the program, this is our way of giving back to them for one night.
“We want to create an opportunity for them to get to know each other better.
“As far as the actual camp, it’s like a Football 101 class. They’ll do some stretching, blocking, tackling — using tackling dummies, not each other (he smiled) — kicking and some other drills.”
No contact, a lot of fun
Cynthia Stump, the mom of a freshman Mustang player, joked she was a little disappointed the drills didn’t include one that allowed her to tackle her own son.
“I was looking forward to that,” she said, chuckling. “As long as they weren’t given an opportunity to tackle us back.
“My son is excited I’m participating in this. He just doesn’t want me to get injured.”
Again, she laughed — which proved to be a common thread throughout the evening.
The camp started with 10- to 20-yard stretching drills, including the proper technique for high-knees and shuffling.
These moms have game
The moms were then divided into small groups and sent to stations for more individualized technique drills.
Like their sons (Northville’s varsity team is 4-0 and ranked in the top 10 in Division1), they displayed top-shelf coordination and dexterity — except perhaps at the field goal-kicking station where only a handful of attempts managed to sneak through the uprights.
Once the ladies received a crash course at every station, they participated in chalk talk sessions with Luplow and Defensive Coordinator Matt Sexton, during which they were encouraged to ask questions about strategy and other elements of the sport.
“No question is a bad question,” Luplow ensured.
Great first year
Luplow said he was pleased with the number of participants.
“Especially since it’s the first year we’ve done something like this at Northville,” he said.
“This year we opened it up to high school moms only. Next year, we’ll expand it to the junior league moms, too.”
For the $50 registration fee, each mom received a T-shirt, eye black enhanced with glitter and a goodie bag at Genitti’s in downtown Northville, where the group headed following the conclusion of the camp.
When asked what part of the camp he thought the moms would find the most fun, Luplow didn’t hesitate.
“I think they’ll enjoy the drills and the chalk talk,” he said. “But they’ll probably enjoy the time at Genitti’s the most.”
He smiled — much like the close to 60 football moms did throughout the night of learning football fundamentals.
Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.