Carl Torbush hasn’t forgotten the ladies as he continues to cultivate the fan base for East Tennessee State’s new football program.
The head coach will host a women’s clinic on all aspects of the game Saturday morning in the Dome. It’s something Torbush has done many times in his long career, and he says the get-togethers are rewarding for all concerned.
“We started way back when I was at Louisiana Tech, and I’ve always found the women are excited to come and learn a little football,” he said Wednesday. “They’re not intimidated by having their husbands right behind them. In fact, they usually go home and tell their husbands something the guys don’t even know. It’s a fun time for everybody.”
A lot of ground will be covered before lunch, and the women can take their new knowledge home just in time for the afternoon games.
“We’ll talk about some terminology – why they call a cornerback a cornerback, what’s an option, what’s a curl – we’ll have an equipment breakdown, we’ll have a section on officiating,” said Torbush. “Then we’ll talk a little about flexibility and weight training, for anyone who’s interested in staying in shape.”
The day begins with registration and a continental breakfast at 8:15 a.m. and will end about noon. There will also be a short skills session after the clinic for anyone who wants to get a hands-on feel for running pass routes and catching the football.
Cost of the clinic is $20, and every woman will receive an ETSU football notebook. ETSU employees and students may attend free with a valid ID.
To register or get more information, call 439-8398 or visit the football page at etsubucs.com.
Coach Brittney Ezell’s first basketball team at ETSU now has its assignments.
The women’s schedule was released Wednesday and shows 15 home games, including three straight in late December against Indiana State, Chattanooga and George Mason. There’s also a date with Morehead State at Freedom Hall on Nov. 21 that will be part of a double-header with the ETSU-Samford men’s game.
The Lady Bucs will visit two Southeastern Conference schools, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, as well as Memphis, a team they defeated here last season. The latter opens the season on Nov. 8.
There are also non-conference dates at Appalachian State and Western Carolina.
“Winning is always the main objective, but we will also be particularly focused on using the out-of-league games to concentrate on our team’s development, chemistry and define who we are as a team,” said Ezell, the former Belmont coach who was hired in May. “We have a challenging and travel-friendly regional non-conference schedule that will serve as great preparation for A-Sun play.”
The Atlantic Sun Conference schedule begins here against Lipscomb on Jan. 2. The highlight comes when Florida Gulf Coast visits the Dome on Feb. 6.
The men’s soccer team will be in the campus spotlight tonight when Kentucky visits Summers-Taylor Stadium. Gametime is 7 o’clock.
The Bucs hope to rebound against their second straight Conference USA opponent (the SEC doesn’t sponsor men’s soccer). They fell 1-0 in the season opener at South Carolina last Friday.
“I think Kentucky is historically a stronger team than South Carolina,” coach Scott Calabrese said Wednesday. “They went to the NCAA tournament last year and had a very successful team. It’s going to be a tough match for us.”
The Bucs have a history of playing well at home against teams from the power conferences.
“We’re excited to play at home, in front of our fans,” said Calabrese. “Usually when we play these bigger teams at home, we produce good results.”
The Bucs are still playing without senior forward David Geno, the preseason player of the year in the conference who is coming off surgery for a broken foot. But the timetable for his return has been moved up.
“I think we’re looking at maybe the Memphis and UAB games in Birmingham (next weekend) that he’ll start to get some minutes,” said Calabrese, who earlier thought Geno might be out until conference play began the first of October. “He’s in training and starting to grow in terms of fitness. We just need to get to the point where he’s comfortable and trusts his body.”
William Nordenstrom, a freshman from Sweden, will continue to fill Geno’s spot in the interim.
“He had a very good preseason and played well against South Carolina,” said Calabrese. “It was just difficult for him to get involved because we were losing the ball before getting it up to him. We were a little bit disconnected in the first half, playing in a hostile environment against a big school. But it’s one of those tests that will make us better down the line.”
The Bucs have another tough opponent to deal with when Winthrop comes to town on Monday.
Women’s soccer coach Adam Sayers knew the schedule might not be kind to his team in the early going. And that’s the way things have played out.
The Lady Bucs are 1-3, with losses at Appalachian State, Virginia Tech and N.C. State. They easily defeated VMI 5-1 in their only home game.
“These are strong teams and good tests for our players,” said Sayers, “and we’re happy to have them early in the season. We’ve got a lot of young players, new players, and we’re still in the integration process.”
The Lady Bucs have also been dealing with injuries that have kept freshmen Simona Koren and Molly Collinson, and sophomore Hannah Short from seeing any action yet in the regular season. Sayers expects all three to be available soon.
Next up for the Lady Bucs is Winthrop here on Friday night. They won the matchup 4-2 last season.
It’s back to the tournament road for the volleyball team this weekend.
Fresh off a 3-0 victory over Furman in their home opener Tuesday night, the Bucs head to Lexington for the Kentucky Classic. They’ll face Liberty on Friday before taking on Virginia Commonwealth and Kentucky on Saturday.
The Wildcats knocked the Bucs out of the NCAA tournament by a 3-0 score on that same floor last November.
ETSU plays four matches at the Lady Vol Classic in Knoxville next weekend, then opens Atlantic Sun Conference play with three straight road matches. The defending conference champ won’t play another home match until Stetson visits on Oct. 11.
Meredith Hardy set a school record in the Furman victory with seven solo blocks. That broke the previous mark of six, set by Jennifer Pennington in 1996, and was the 66th straight match in which the junior from Kingsport has recorded at least one block.