Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wildcats Back to Work After Some Time Off

After a few days off from football, the team got back on the practice field yesterday and started to get back to work on some fundamentals. The managers were able to get some time off too, which was nice for them too.

We go again this afternoon and tomorrow, then really start getting focused on our next opponent, which is the Oregon State Beavers. We have one more home game before we hit the road to Pullman, WA for a October 16 battle on the Palouse.

Back when Coach Stoops got here 7 years ago, he started a tradition that still goes on each Wednesday after practice. The wives of the coaches bake cookies for the players and they bring them to practice. The wives bring their kids and the kids play catch with the players and their dads. It is a really cool thing. Cookie Night is in addition to the Family Nights during the season which are on Sunday evenings. Coach has been known to set up slip-n-slides, jumping castles, and other things for the kids to play with. Many times the dads jump right in with the kids! There is such a family atmosphere around the program, thanks to Coach Stoops!

Below are some pictures from yesterdays practice.

Managers snap the balls to quarterbacks yesterday at practice:

Dr. Kevin Leman, New York Times Best Selling Author and HUGE Wildcat fan, visits with Garic Wharton during break at yesterday's practice:

Ben Hulka and Mike Baranowski have fun spotting balls during team drill yesterday during practice:

Mackenzie Odom, wife of strength coach Brian Odom, and their son Ben bring cookies for the players:

Cookies baked by the coaches wives for the team:

Players go after fresh baked cookies after last nights practice:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wildcats Comeback to Beat the Cal Bears

Well, I guess you could say the team survived a "let down game" this past Saturday night, as the Wildcats scored late in the game for a winning TD against the Cal Bears. Not to take anything away from the Bears, but the Wildcats played very poorly this past Saturday night, but found a way to win in the end to go to 4-0 on the season. Everyone is excited about having this weekend off as we have an open date this Saturday. We are not practicing today or tomorrow so the players can rest their legs and bodies, PLUS concentrate on academics.

We hope the managers can get some time off too, but we are working a few hours today just to get things checked in and properly put away as we always do on Mondays. Hopefully they will get all of tomorrow off???? One of the things we (student managers) are not taking off of this week is our weekly shoulder pad and helmet maintenance. Safety is always top priority.

I hate to say too much good things because I do not want to jinx us, but so far this season, the equipment staff is having a very smooth season. As I have mentioned before, since we have a strong veteran group back, we have a group that knows what it takes to get things done. One of the things that Tim, Benny and I are trying to do this season is to get some of the less experienced managers with more responsibilities, which includes traveling. We have to always look towards the future.

It will be fun to have the weekend off and be able to watch some other teams play. Looks like we have a good weekend to have off since there are some great games on tap for this weekend!

Our sports information department approached me towards the end of last week and asked if the local NBC affiliate, KVOA channel 4, could come by the stadium locker room to get some footage of the equipment staff working. They are doing a series of behind the scene stories related to Wildcat Football games in Arizona Stadium. The reporter and camera man told me that the story would be posted on their website, which is I am not sure when it will be there, but for any of you interested you can check their website.

Below are some pictures of our preparation for the Cal game.

The managers walk test the coaches sideline headsets way before the game starts to make sure there are no problems with frequencies:

Michael Barnett pushes a trunk out to the field for the game:

Jordan Gobel and Robert Lloyd test the coaches headsets:

Channel 4 did not miss a beat as they did a story on the behind the scenes work of the equipment staff:

Jordan Gobel test one of the headsets:

Robert Lloyd also checks to make sure that the ring down phones are properly working. The way these work is that as soon as someone picks up the phone, the other end of the line rings. Usually it is a coach in the pressbox calling down to talk to a player:

Robert Lloyd answering questions for Channel 4:

Billy Worthington making sure the air pressure is correct on all the balls used during pre game:

Benny Conger walk testing the Coach Comm system 4 to 5 hours prior to kickoff:

This past weekend, coaches across the nation wore patches to create an awareness of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and their desire to find a cure for this disease.

Ben Hulka helping me put patches on the coaches shirts:

Mike Reed focusing on doing a great job of placing the patch on sleeves:

Jordan Bates making sure the officials have everything they need when they arrive to the stadium, including air pumps with air gauges on them:

Getting the officials locker room ready is one of responsibilities, and Jordan Bates is in charge of that duty:

Jordan putting out programs in the officials locker room before they arrived:

Channel 4 camera man did a lot of filming on Saturday before the team arrived:

Channel 4 doing their story on the behind the scenes as we prepare the locker room. Ben Hulka is writing our team countdown on the white marker board, which is one of his responsibilities:

There have been quite a few changes made this year, including making our team entry to the field even better than before!

Lots of enthusiasm in the stadium as our team comes onto the field against Cal:

Team listening to Coach Stoops after the game against Cal:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Equipment Room Gets Ready For the Bears

We are excited every day we come to work, but Thursdays during the season is when game excitement really starts! That is when we start doing specific duties that pertain to the game.

Tonight, after the players pack their bags, we will take everything over to the stadium. We will set the alarms and be ready to get to work at 8am to get each player ready for Cal

Mike Baranowski came in early today after his classes and started taping the players shoulder pads who use tape during the games. All the shoulder pads will be taped before practice starts today. We do not ever wear shoulder pads on Thursdays.

Below are some pictures of Mike taping a pair of shoulder pads:

Billy Worthington drives the gator with the field drains while Jordan Bates puts them on the drains before practice:

Jordan Bates puts a cover on one of the many drains between our two fields. We cover these drains with field turf cover for a smooth transition on the field; then we take them off so water can drain while we are not practicing:

Michael Barnett puts out pylons while Jordan Gobel drives the gator:

Michael Baranowski gets one of our clocks ready for practice:

Michael Barnett sets out the agile bags before practice today:

Jordan Gobel gets launch pad for todays practice:

Mike Baranowski puts the countdown clock control on top of one of the parked golf carts for optimal coverage to the clocks:

The managers check for proper air pressure before each practice every day:

We are responsible for putting Practice Closed signs on our gate each day:

Robert Lloyd puts a We Pack/U Pack list on a players locker while the team was practicing earlier today:

This is our We Pack/U Pack list for Cal Game on Saturday:

Robert Lloyd gets player equipment bags ready to put in front of each players locker that is dressing for the game Saturday:

Ben Hulka puts up a We Pack/U Pack list on a locker during practice:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Managers Continue to Work Hard

Hard to believe that we are a quarter of the way through our season, and with that and training camp, it is starting to feel like we have been at this for awhile! Being ranked as high as #14 and being 3-0 sure helps, but having great kids as student managers even helps more! Our guys are still working hard and seem fresh.

It has been very nice to play two home games in a row, but even more exciting to have a bye week after this third home game, only to be followed by ANOTHER home game. The schedule makers have been kind to the Wildcats!

Everyone is excited about opening up Pac 10 play, that also helps with the adrenalin. Below are some pictures of the team and managers working hard earlier today at practice, getting ready for the Cal Bears.

Coach Stoops was focused during practice today (as usual):

Jack Banker and Michael Barnett have chains ready to go for team period:

Robert Lloyd checks out the script for team period as he and Mike Baranowski run that drill today:

Ben Hulka working hard and hustling as usual:

Mike Baranowski and Ben Hulka hustle while running balls during team:

Ryan Ewalt catches for Matt Scott as he warms up to go in for team:

Managers not involved in special teams work with some players on catching balls for extra work:
Mike Harlow and other managers shoot balls to some Receivers during special teams:

Robert Lloyd catches up while managers use jugs machine during special teams:

Ryan Ewalt snaps to QB's during drills:

Ryan Ewalt and Jack Banker assist QB drills during special teams period: