Spurrier, Beecher Hot with the Ladies

The Head Ball Coach held his annual Ladies' Clinic this past Saturday, and 730 ladies showed up to learn about the game of football from Spurrier and his staff. It also afforded them the opportunity to meet with the Gamecock football players that had volunteered for the event. They took pictures with the players and got their autographs. Second to Spurrier, Tommy Beecher had the longest line.

After being reaffirmed as the starting quarterback by Coach Spurrier at Thursday's press conference, red shirt junior Tommy Beecher has become the toast of the town. He was surrounded by women of all ages on Saturday morning, all wanting to take a picture with him. Of course, it was a ladies' clinic. Yet the ladies knew who he was and, second to the HBC, Beecher had the longest line waiting for his autograph.

Players in attendance were Justin Sorenson, Tommy Beecher, John Guerry, Jamon Meredith, Terrence Campbell, Kyle Nunn, Marvin Sapp, and Heath Batchelor.

Justin Sorenson has emerged as the new leader on this year's offensive line. When asked how he is handling his new role he said, "Just trying to get everybody to do right. Doing the best I can to get everybody everywhere...Been working as hard as I can."

Even as a fifth year senior and returning starter, Sorenson says that his job is not safe, but he feels good about this year's line. "Everyone is going to be pushed as a starter this year. No one is set in stone yet.

"I think we've got a chance to do real well this year. We finally have a little bit of depth and experience, whereas in years past there's pretty much only been a few guys who've played (before). Hopefully we've got a chance to have a good season."

Justin appeared to be optimistic on the upcoming season, and also said that winning the bowl game was the important game for him this season, his last as a Gamecock. He was confident his team will go bowling after the season, but I was unable to coerce a prediction from the astute lineman.

Tommy Beecher, on the other hand, is approaching this season differently, as he tries to adjust to the sudden attention of being named Carolina's starting quarterback. "I'm excited. I'm ready for the season to start," he said, "It's been awhile since I've really been excited about football season. The opportunity to play has really sparked it."

Up until now, Beecher's most famous contribution to the team has been his outstanding G.P.A. Now that he is the starting quarterback, his grades may suffer a little. "Yeah, my grades are slipping a little. Now that I'm the starter, my priorities are changing," he quipped with a smirk on his face.

Beecher was the focus of the ladies at this year's clinic showing that it is true. Fathers in the north expect their daughters to understand Sylvia Plath, and fathers in the south expect their daughters to understand pass interference. These women knew enough about the game and their favorite team to flock around the starting QB much like they probably did in high school. Beecher estimated that he likely signed 300 autographs in a little more than an hour.

With the coaches trying to move along the day's events, yet still appease the few remaining autograph seekers, Coach Ron Cooper asked the players to move their lines out of the way. Terrence Campbell joked with him saying, "Tell Tommy, I don't have a line."

Once the ladies were finally seated, Strength Coach Mark Smith warmed the crowd up with his pre-game routine. It took the ladies a few tries to get it right, and Smith did not let them sit until they got it right. Too fast! Too slow! Louder! OK, have a seat.

Spurrier was first up, as he showed those in attendance last year's touchdown passes, and explained how he designs plays to get his receivers open. It was time for me to go. If I haven't learned that yet, it's time to find a new profession.

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