Bobcats battling for starting spots
Who plays in a game is a direct result of who plays in practice.
That mentality is what most football coaches have when it comes to handing out starting nods. And at Basehor-Linwood High School, the players are aware of that.
"The coaches always tell us," junior linebacker Jake Brown said. "It's almost like there's no way you'll sit the bench if you work real hard at practice."
So far this season at BLHS, assistant coach Joe Berthelsen said there were a few spots solidified, but at others some great battles are being fought.
"Our offensive line is basically set," Berthelsen said. "But there's a little bit of a battle for positions on the defensive line."
Berthelsen said at that position there are about eight or 10 guys battling for the few spots. He also said a lot of who starts on the d-line will be decided based on which style of defense coach Paul Brown and the team chooses to run. It boils down to a battle between the bigger, more powerful style of play versus the littler, quicker type. Berthelsen said it's up in the air which style they'll go with and because of that the players are battling it out each and every day.
"We've got our young bucks battling every day with our older guys for a starting spot, so that's really keeping our seniors on their toes," Berthelsen said. "Our big guys are going to have to get faster and that's a great challenge for them."
The Bobcats are also experiencing a battle at linebacker. Berthelsen said senior Zach Pike and junior Ross McCoy are battling for the middle linebacker spot, and as a guy who will play along side one of them, Brown said he thinks the competition helps the team.
"Day in and day out it's a battle," Brown said. "It comes down to who does what right each day because the coaches watch everything you do. I think overall, it's a good thing for our team because we are so close. There aren't any grudges held or anything like that, you just battle it out and that stays on the field. People don't take things off the field they're just fighting for a starting position."
Berthelsen said the coaches were hoping to have the starting spots set by the time the first game rolls around. But as the team prepares for its 'Meet the Bobcats' scrimmage Friday, Aug. 24, Berthelsen said some spots are still up for grabs and that how the players perform in the scrimmage might go a long way in deciding some of the battles.
"If a kid really does well in that (the scrimmage), we have to assume that's what he'd do in a game, so I think there is some weight to it," Berthelsen said.
Brown agreed with his coach and said that while the scrimmage might not decide any starting spots, it will certainly provide the coaches with a better idea of who's ready for war.
"I don't know if it'll determine any starting spots," Brown said. "But guys will be looked at differently by the coaches because that is a game-type atmosphere and I think that could mean a lot for some of the guys."
Friday's scrimmage will start at 7 p.m. and the following week the Bobcats will get after it for real when they welcome Bonner Springs to town for the season opener.