She had the focus of a veteran quarterback on a crucial goal-line situation in the fourth quarter. Instead of driving for the end zone, though, Rebecca Newman’s goal was a little different Thursday at the Orlando Sentinel’s UCF Ladies Football Clinic. Her motivation came in the form of sideline passes and tickets to Universal Studios.
Newman eventually beat out approximately 115 participants in the longest throw competition and then the punt return contest to snatch up both prizes Thursday.
“I was showing off at the end, especially on that diving catch,” smiled Newman, who caught three difficult punts from the machine to cap off the night. “I didn’t really need to do that but I was showing off a little. (For next year) I am going to train ahead of time for sure, kind of like getting ready for a marathon so I can win everything, and hopefully they will add more competitive sports and then I can win more.”
After everyone registered, they gathered for some introductions of the football staff led by head coach George O’Leary. Offensive coordinator Charlie Taaffe explained offensive formations, snap counts and personnel, while defensive coordinator Jim Fleming taught defensive gaps, zones and mechanics. The group eventually went inside Nicholson Fieldhouse and separated into different positions, such as receiving, kicking and throwing. One of the players helping out was senior wide receiver Jeff Godfrey.
“It is very fun to see everyone compete, who can throw the ball the farthest and how they are catching punts. It’s really exciting out here. It’s a great turnout tonight,” Godfrey said.
UCF Athletics Hall of Fame member and wide receivers coach Sean Beckton agreed.
“Tonight was a very good event,” Beckton said. “Everyone got to see a lot of the different aspects of how a football program is run, and they had a chance to get out and interact with some of our players and learn some of the skills to help them understand the game even more.”
At the end of the event, the two big competitions took place with Newman stealing the show.
“I think tonight’s fantastic,” she said. “I was a late add-on to come with a friend and I love it. I would recommend it. It’s been great.”
Plan your game days this fall with the Knights, and experience one of the best schedules in program history. Season tickets start at $99. Order today at UCFAthletics.com or call 407-UCF-1000.