Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Helmet and Shoulder Pad Maintenance

Every single week during the season, each of our 15 managers come in for a couple of hours and do extensive helmet and shoulder pad maintenance. Tim takes a look at each managers class schedule and then he schedules a time period for them to come in and do the work.

Each week they clean and sanitize the helmet and shoulder pads, then they check for cracks or flaws in both pieces of the equipment. This is a very important duty that they have as part of their job as a manager.

At the beginning of the year, each manager drafts player's from our roster, and then they are responsible for taking care of those players through this maintenance program.

Ben Hulka and Willie Salzman came in this morning on their scheduled time to do weekly maintenance on their player's helmets and shoulder pads:
Ben and Willie bring all of their player's helmets and shoulder pads into the equipment room from the player's lockers each week to maintain safety:
Each manager has a sheet for each of their players that they keep official records of all work done on their players helmet or shoulder pads:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Picture

Student Manager, Robert Lloyd (Pac 10 t-shirt holding two footballs) has a concerned look on his face as he runs balls on the Beaver sideline.

Day Off........sort of

The managers were here at 6am sharp this morning to unload the truck from the OSU game up in Corvallis. They got everything put away and the player bags unpacked and everything put back in the player's locker in McKale.

Tim has given them a well deserved rest of the day off! Many of the managers are starting to have test in their classes, so this is a perfect time of a bye week and a day off. We will start practice again tomorrow afternoon and get back into the grind.

We just received news that the Washington Husky game in Seattle has been moved to 7pm to accommodate TV, so it will be another early Sunday morning arrival back home to Tucson. Then it is home sweet home for over a month. The next road trip will not be until November 14 game in Berkeley California against the Cal Bears.

Now let's just hope that the great weather we got in Corvallis will carry over to Seattle, since it is still somewhat early in the fall! I'm guessing we will still need a light jacket at best though for the Husky game.

By the way, Tim, Benny and the managers did an outstanding job for the game up in Corvallis!!! I say this all the time...."we are the luckiest people in the world", but I have to say that I am the luckiest of them all. I have the BEST people in the world all around me, and that is a BEAUTIFUL thing!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

After Further Review....Cats Still Win!!!!!!

You just had a feeling that everything was going to be great! After more than twenty years in this league and going to Corvallis for that long, NEVER has the weather been so GREAT. It was like a nice January day in Tucson.

Other than the usual weather, this is one of my favorite trips. Easy load in and out of the locker room, you can park right outside the locker room, Steve McCoy, Arnold Alcantar and Tom Williams are some of the BEST help and great guys in the business (OSU Equipment Staff), locker room is spacious, especially the coaches area (which I LOVE). It is a long haul to the field and the managers hate pushing trunks up the steep ramp after the game, but other than that, it is a great trip. There are a lot of pipes going through the locker room area and you may notice all kinds of signs of leaks in the pictures below. It is a little dark and dirty in the locker room.

The injuries are starting to pile up and it has Tim, Benny and me getting stressed out. We realize injuries are going to happen, but we take it personally and we have a lot of pride in protecting our players. Seems like in all my years of doing this, injuries always come in bunches and almost become epidemic. Just like some years you go weeks and weeks and have no injuries. We just have to keep working hard and see if there is anything additional we can do. It is very frustrating!!!!

Thank goodness our coaches have done a GREAT job of recruiting and build a lot of depth on the TEAM! So many players stepped up yesterday and did a great job of winning this game. It made the drive back to Eugene and having to go through their airport so much more tolerable.

I know our TEAM needs a bye week, but I am sure going to miss being on the sideline next Saturday!

This banner summed up everything about the game. The Wildcats played a great game as a TEAM:
Benny Conger helping out with pulling jerseys:

Tailgating a lot different than in Iowa!!!!!!

Radio Technician, Eric Thomae, sets up radio head sets in coaches locker room for post game interviews before the TEAM leaves the hotel:
Ben Hulka cleans a pair of shoes before the game:
Ben Hulka and Mike Harlow push big 'ol Trunk #6 down to the field:

Ben Hulka worked extremely hard to clean up the white marker boards that OSU provides. It was hard because previous teams used permanent markers in some places!

How the lockers looked after the managers set up the locker room:
Not only did the managers do a great job in the locker room before the TEAM left the hotel in Salem, they had fun doing it!
A look at the very spacious coaches' locker room at Gill Coliseum. It was nice not having to set out all kinds of foul weather outerwear!

Tim Pfennig, Robert Lloyd and Benny Conger waiting on our TEAM buses to arrive:

Benny and the managers set up Coach Comm early on Saturday morning:
Mike Reed (left) and Robert Lloyd assist Benny in setting up Coach Comm more than 5 hours prior to kickoff:

A close up of our NG Coach Comm system:
Beaver fans line "Beaver Blvd" to watch their team walk from their buses to their locker room:

As mentioned before, our TEAM dresses in Gill Coliseum which is a long walk to the stadium. Horizon Moving's beautiful truck sits right outside our locker room:

Nice shot of the recently renovated Reser Stadium. OSU did a nice job of turning their old small stadium into a nice looking stadium:

Benny and the managers have Coach Comm all set up and waiting on the coaches to get on the field from the locker room:
The two best truck drivers in the world, Bob Keith and Bob Caprari, of Horizon Moving here in Tucson take in the game from the sidelines:

TEAM goes through pre-game warm-ups:

Tim is handy with some game balls for Coach Stoops during post game talk:

Nick Foles listens to Coach Stoops post game talk with the rest of his TEAM mates:

Friday, September 25, 2009

We Are at Salbasgeon Suites in Corvallis

I was able to get a lot more pictures, but as usual on the road, it takes FOREVER for the pictures to upload. This hotel is even slower than normal, not to mention the air conditioner in my room does not work and they may have to move me. I really hope the trip picks up. It is going on 11pm and there is a restaurant guy in here working on the a/c.

We got everything offloaded into the locker room and we are ready to go in the morning.

Not a great picture, but Tom Boesel and Billy Worthington unload our luggage/equipment truck onto our charter plane for the trip up to Oregon:
Our five managers on the charter flight:
Because the truck leaves Tucson on Wednesday night and we have practice on Thursday, we put the players' equipment bags on the charter with us and hire a truck to pick up our player bags. We have used Rex Myers in Eugene for over 10 years. They are the BEST!

Our local equipment truck leaves after we offload the players' bags:

Golf cart is one of the things we loaded on the truck for this trip so the coaches can get to and from the pressbox quicker. It is a LONG walk from locker room to coaches' box!

Ben Hulka and Ryan Ewalt (second picture), unload equipment from truck into locker room:

Headed to Corvallis

Well, right now we are sitting around and waiting in the equipment room for our bus to leave for the airport. Our bus leaves at 12:15 this afternoon.

We will arrive in Eugene Oregon this afternoon right around 5pm. It seems we always arrive a little early up there. The team will depart immediately for Salem Oregon where they will stay tonight. The equipment staff, we will go directly to Gill Coliseum on the Oregon State campus where our locker room is located. The football stadium does not have a locker room for the visiting team.

We will arrive at Gill around 6 - 6:30 this evening to unload our equipment into the locker room. We hire security to sit with the equipment all night. We will work for a little while, but save most of the work for tomorrow. We mainly just get things situated. We choose to stay in Corvallis instead of staying with the team. There is not a hotel in Corvallis for the team to stay in, so they generally stay in Eugene or Salem, which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. We have been staying at the same hotel, Salbasgeon Suites in Corvallis for about the past 10 years. It just makes much more sense to do that instead of driving on the dangerous two lane winding highways that many times are in the cold and rain.

I hope to have pictures up tonight of all the work we do today. In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures from practice yesterday below.

Michael Barnett running and hustling as usual:Jordan Bates placing the ball for the offense during team drills:

Coach Dykes overlooking his offense with a new QB for this week:

Billy Worthington hustling the ball back, and Zack Risdon looking at where the ball needs to be spotted next:

Not a great shot of the managers as they wait to retrieve balls, but a good shot of the beautiful view we get each day at practice:

Zack Risdon and Billy Worthington run the defensive team drill yesterday:

Billy Worthington hustling while spotting balls for the defense:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Getting Ready for the Beavers

The minute we landed in Tucson from Iowa, the coaches started getting ready for the Oregon State Beavers. The process for them NEVER stops this time of the year!! They immediately start working on a game plan for the next opponent.

They introduce that to the players on Monday and the coaches and players start right then planning for the Beavers. All week, the majority of practice time is spent with our offense and defense, even special teams, looking at scout players trying to look just like the Beavers. Our scout team players are extremely important part of the team!!!!

The managers must pay attention and do their part to help keep the tempo of practice going, and know exactly where the ball needs to be placed on the field and keep down and distance with the first down chains at all times. By the way, the managers do an outstanding job of doing all of this. They realize the importance of everything and take a great deal of pride in doing a great job.

Coach Frank Buffano oversees the scout team offense, so he goes over things with the two managers that will help with the period:
Here, Coach Buffano holds up a card for the offensive scout team to look at so they can look like the Beavers:
Ben Hulka runs after the ball, trying to help set the tempo for the entire period:

Ben Hulka hustles the ball back to the QB. The QB does not take a direct snap from the scout team center. This assures there are no bad snaps so we can get more reps. The center snaps a "towel ball".

Zak Risdon has notes and scripts so he knows exactly where to place the "towel ball" on the field. The "snap" has to be in the correct place between the hashes.

Here, Andrew McDonald is the scout team QB, and mgr, Ben Hulka hands him the ball:

An important part of the scout team drill is for the defense to know what the down and distance is for each situation. Here, our great group of managers serve as the "chain gang":

They're baaaaaack! After only a few days of rest, the two best truck drivers in the world load up our truck for another long trip:
Truck left last night for Corvallis: