March 23, 2013
By Stephanie Juncker
By Stephanie Juncker
FRESNO, Calif. --- The Fresno State football team held its annual spring scrimmage Saturday afternoon which was highlighted by a fun, family atmosphere for the Red Wave. The day began with an autograph session and free camp for kids on the field before the team began the scrimmage.
"I thought it was awesome and I want to thank Real California Milk for sponsoring it," said head coach Tim DeRuyter on the day's activities. "It was great that we had chocolate milk out here for our players, the staff and the kids. Our players had a ball interacting with the kids and the posters were great for them to sign."
The free kids camp had different activities stationed on the field including running, catching, and touchdown simulation stations, as well as several jump houses and blow up games at the stadium entrance.
"It was a great event for our guys to get to know the kids in town, and hopefully for the kids to get a connection to our players," Coach DeRuyter said. In addition to getting players' autographs, the most popular station seemed to be a drill where the kids ran around two large hoops, dove onto a large bag for a touchdown and then showcased their touchdown celebration moves.
"It's always fun working with the little kids," said Derron Smith, who was running the popular station. "They love everything about Bulldog football and we love having them as fans. Our station was pretty active and that's why we had a lot of fun. We had a lot of the team down here to cheer on the kids while they were showing off their dance moves. We had a great time out here this morning."
The kids weren't the only ones who got to enjoy the fun as Andrew Young, a Fresno State fan and father of three, was glad he brought his family to Bulldog Stadium Saturday morning.
"It's great, the kids are out here having a blast," Young said. "There is a ton to do, the players are right here being excited with us, and it's really personal. I have never been a part of this type of thing before. My kids are just absolutely beyond themselves, just being able to walk up close and be personal with the guys, it's great!"
After the festivities were over, the Red Wave headed into the stands to watch the Bulldogs go through the scrimmage. The players, who changed into helmets and pads, went through a team stretch, position drills and seven on seven before beginning the full offense versus defense scrimmage.
The coaches set the 'Dogs up with different situations including play in the middle of the field, field goal unit attempts, and the offense being backed up in its own end zone.
All in all, the day was a great opportunity for the team and the Red Wave to engage and have a great time in the beautiful weather. Below are a few more thoughts from the players.
#79 Travis Harvey
"It's been great getting out here and building our fan base. It is really important for the Fresno community to know that we are out here for them, and that is why we wear the green V on all of our jerseys. It's an excellent opportunity for us to get hands on with the community."
"Seeing the kids light up when we walk down the tunnel, it's a cool experience to see how excited they get to hang out with us and run through some drills."
#43 Karl Mickelsen
"I've enjoyed spending time the kids and being a big hero to them and being there for them."
#22 Malique Micenheimer
"Seeing how excited they are to do stuff that we do everyday, they really enjoy being out here with us!"
"Discover Fresno State Football" - 2013 Fresno State football season tickets are now on sale and can be ordered online at gobulldogs.com or over the phone at 559-278-DOGS (3647).
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