April 15, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The fifth annual Spartan Football Women's Clinic was held Saturday, April 13 at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, with net proceeds going to the Children's Miracle Network at Sparrow Regional Children's Center.
Hosted by head coach Mark Dantonio and his wife Becky, the Spartan Football Women's Clinic included a tour of the 25,000-square-foot Skandalaris Football Center and strategy sessions covering all three phases of the game (offense, defense and special teams). In addition, the women participated in a practice session for an inside look at position drills and instruction. The sold-out clinic, which had 200 participants, also featured a panel discussion and Q&A session that included the entire football coaching staff and their wives.
"This event will benefit the Children's Miracle Network at Sparrow Hospital," said Becky Dantonio. "We like all of the funds to go to the pediatric intensive care unit.
"I think we just like to see how much fun everyone is having. Of course we want them to know a little bit more about football and maybe do some drills, but it's just really great that they have such a good time. And these ladies come back so we know we must be doing something fun - that I guess is the best part for me, just watching them have a good time."
"I think all of us are looking to try and create moments for people," said Mark Dantonio. "I think when you come to one of these you have the opportunity to share that moment, whether you're a player or a coach, or someone who's attending. You have a chance to make something a little bit brighter for people and so that's what we were able to do today. It goes to a great charity, the Sparrow pediatric area with the Children's Miracle Network, and we're happy to be able to do that.
"Our wives do a great job organizing this and running it, and we just sort of show up at the end and be a part of it. It's a great experience for them too, to see how involved people are."
For camp participant Jenn Buchin, the wait for her first women's clinic was worth it.
"It was something I've been wanting to do for a really long time and haven't been able to do," said Buchin. "It was a nice gift from my husband for my birthday. Watching the games, it was nice to be able to see behind the scenes, all of the drills that they go through and to be able to hear from their side how everything is. It was a lot of fun to just be able to experience it and get to meet everybody. They're just regular people and I think a lot of time some people don't realize that. They're down to earth and it was just a really good experience."
"It's a privilege that we get to be here and play the sport that we love," said junior fullback Niko Palazeti. "To take time off and really spend it with the people that helped us get here, that's just really important. It's a great way to just refocus, regenerate your motivation and get your focus back pushing forward."
Michigan State returns for its 13th spring practice on Tuesday afternoon.