June 8, 2013
An exception was made Saturday.
There were 225 participants in the third annual Ladies Football Academy, with the group raising $230,523 for the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. In the three-year history of the event, $717,523 has been raised.
"Every time we're in Kinnick Stadium, we're competing and somebody wins and somebody loses," Ferentz said. "Today, everybody wins."
The campers registered in the indoor practice facility before going to a nutrition clinic and strength training in the Hayden Fry Football Complex. From there, they boarded a Windstar charter bus that drove them to Kinnick Stadium, where participants took the Hawk Walk and touched the helmet on the statue of Nile Kinnick.
The rest of the day included drills on the field, a performance test, and a photo and autograph session with Ferentz. After a meal, campers listened to assistant coaches discuss their positions of expertise and watched a couple dance routines that included the UI Spirit Squad, Hawkeye football players, and Kid Captains Bridget, Jamie, and Caroline Schmid.
After "swarming" into Kinnick Stadium, the participants broke into groups and went through skills and drills sessions with the assistant coaches.
Attending the Ladies Football Academy is personal to many.
"My friend heard about it, so she asked me to join," said Patty. "We both have children that treat at the U of I, and have been admitted, and have made numerous trips here, so this is something fun and a great way to raise money and help the hospital."
"My husband was at the University Hospital about three years ago for about a month and a half, so we decided it was time to give back," said Heather from Des Moines, Iowa. "It worked out this year that I was able to come and raise money to come over, so I decided to sign up and I'm having a blast."
Tricia from Donnellson, Iowa, is a Hawkeye football fan who enjoys interacting with the players and seeing their personalities outside of game mode.
Her favorite Hawkeyes?
"I like (C.J.) Fiedorowicz and I like Jordan Cotton," she said. "Jordan is from the town I work in (Mount Pleasant, Iowa)."
Each of the campers received a bag, and one of the objects inside provided the answer to a popular trivia question: What type of gum does coach Ferentz chew during games?
"There is a pack of sugarless Bubble Yum in the bag," Ferentz informed the group.