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Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Hosts Free Youth Clinic

Photo By: Melissa Macatee/CBAA

ARLINGTON – It’s not every day that area youth receive an opportunity to hone their football skills on the turf of AT&T Stadium and then wrap up the day with a surprise visit by two former Dallas Cowboy greats and Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame members.

On Tuesday morning, the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic hosted more than 200 local youth, ages 11-14, in a free football clinic sponsored by the Children’s Health Andrews Institute in Plano and Wilson Sporting Goods.

Coaches from college programs throughout Texas guided the youngsters thru three hours of drills, emphasizing offensive and defensive fundamentals that will prove beneficial as they advance in youth sports. The on-field activities concluded with a “Fastest Man” competition.

In addition to the football drills, the event included a new dance clinic led by former Kilgore College Rangerettes. Nearly 40 dancers performed a routine for all the participants at the end of the clinic.

After the footballs and pom poms were put away, the fun continued when former Dallas Cowboy greats Russell Maryland and Dat Nguyen spoke to the group.

Maryland, the first pick of the NFL draft in 1991, led the Miami Hurricane to a 46-3 victory over Texas in the 91 Classic. He was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame in 2001. He helped lead the Dallas Cowboys defense to three Super Bowl victories.

Nguyen led Texas A&M to the 1998 Classic and produced one of the greatest defensive performances in Cotton Bowl history leading the team with 20 tackles, seven resulting in 20 yards of losses and one interception that went for an 84-yard touchdown for the Aggies. Both Maryland and Nguyen were named the game’s most outstanding defensive players. Dat entered the Classic Hall of Fame in 2007.

While the youngsters were enjoying themselves on the football field, their parents took part in a special “Concussions 101” seminar, led by Dr. Scott Burkhart, a pediatric sports neuropsychologist that works with sports concussion patients at the Andrews Institute on the Children’s Medical Center campus in Plano.

Dr. Burkhart provided valuable information on recognizing concussion symptoms and the importance of moving swiftly to obtain prompt medical attention, reminding parents there is no such thing as a minor concussion.

“About a third of our participants had never been to AT&T Stadium before Tuesday,” Rick Baker, President/CEO of the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic said. “We wanted to create a memory for these young men and women that will hopefully last a lifetime.”

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