Dragons get to show off skills to their favorite fans
The Clinton Dragons had a “Moms Morning” on Saturday, Aug. 1, to help build community support for the team and also to give the parents a little taste of the strenuous workouts their kids go through during summer practices.
More than 30 moms attended the event, and cheerleaders and dance team members were also encouraged to attend and take part.
Jackie Patton, mother of junior center Josh Patton; and Linda Leon, mother of sophomore center and wide-receiver Camden Leon, both attended the event. Both are members of the team’s booster club.
“Coach Keith wanted to have a football 101 morning with the moms,” Patton said. “We went through in the beginning talking about the different positions that the players are and ran through the warm-ups and the drills they do every day.”
“Whatever position our sons do, we had to run their plays, run their routes, and do whatever they did,” Linda Leon said. “Whatever they did during practice, we had to do. I’ve never laughed so much and sweated so much that early in the morning in my life.”
Patton said the workouts were harder than they expected, and the experience went a long way toward showing just how hard their children are working every day.
“We were all definitely sore, we so realized how tough it is for them, what they do every day,” Patton said. “He made us do all their warm-up stretches, and it was hard to finish. It was fun, but it was hard. Just the endurance they have to have to follow through with everything and all the coordination it takes.
“The guys were great. They were really supportive, cheering us on and everything. I think they enjoyed it a lot, too. We got to hit them with pads and ‘drive’ them.”
Dragons Head Coach Darrell Keith has stressed his commitment to building community around the football program and how much community support ultimately means to a team’s success. He organized the event with the Boosters Club president, Linda Leon.
Patton said she’s a fan of the direction that Keith is taking the team.
“I think Keith is great,” she said. “He’s been supportive, he has great ideas, and he has a great mentality that’s just different. There’s a lot more excitement around the program. I think [Moms Morning] will have a positive impact, because it really shows the boys that we’re behind them, and, ultimately, the moms are the ones you have to have the support of. You have to have their support up in the stands cheering, because we need to build these boys up, not tear them down. It’s just good community support.”
“We’re the working force,” said Leon. “We clean the uniforms, we feed them, we get them to practices. We do everything behind the scenes.”
With all the talk of community support, it’s encouraging to see that the Dragons got just that, with Bojangles and Duck Donuts both donating food for the event. Milestone Church volunteered time to help serve the food, and Elevate Salon and Boutique donated Clinton Dragons merchandise for people to win, including a Dragon sweatshirt for the younger girls and a couple of “Dragon Moms” t-shirts.
“It’s not easy finding Clinton gear,” said Patton. “But they have it.”
Leon said she thought the event was a hit, and that it was something really needed during these times.
“Most of these boys have played together since elementary school, and we’re really a big family,” she said. “It’s a big football family, and it was the perfect thing to happen after all this separation and everything. It was just the perfect thing. It really was. Coach Keith is a good man, and win, lose, or draw, he’s making fine young men out of our boys.”
The Boosters next meeting will be the Dragon Draft Day at 6 p.m. Aug. 16, at The Rock by the football field.
The community is encouraged to attend.