Boot camp Bobcat style
Year in and year out, it's the same thing at Basehor-Linwood High School near the end of the summer.
After resting and relaxing for a couple months, several prospective Bobcat football players get out their cleats and hit the BLHS summer football camp hoping to get a jump start on the upcoming season.
But while things seem to be the same at each camp, BLHS coach Paul Brown said every year brings a new look and adds a new touch to the developing BLHS football tradition.
"I sensed a lot of the same things from this group that we've had in the past couple years," Brown said. "The work ethic was there and there was a genuine excitement about being back out on the football field."
One thing Brown said he saw that was new to the BLHS summer camp was the attitude of his players. After winning two-straight league and district titles, Brown said he got the feeling from the players that they realize the responsibilities that come with being on top.
"We now have been there two years," Brown said. "And we want to stay there. I got the sense from this year's group that they understand what that means and what it's going to take to stay there and that's a real positive."
Sixty Bobcats showed up last week to brave the heat and run through drills that taught the fundamentals of football as well as concepts specific to BLHS's system. Brown said things went more smoothly than he anticipated and they were able to get more done because most of the campers remembered a lot from last season.
"The thing that pleased me the most was that the young people who played last year retained so much information," Brown said. "We were able to do things that I wasn't sure we'd get to."
Included among those things was the ability for the team to run actual plays by the end of camp. Brown said most of the camp focused on fundamentals and learning the ins and outs of each position. However, by the end of the week the Bobcats were running plays successfully without much practice.
With less than three weeks remaining until the first day of practice, the focus now shifts to the players. Brown said he expects each of them to continue to work hard until practice begins. Brown has outlined three things he encourages the players to do before the Aug. 19 start date. The first is to get into the weight room as much as possible. The second is to get outside as much as possible, so they can get used to the heat. And the third is to attend captains' practices, voluntary workouts designed to give the team extra work and build chemistry.
"I encourage as many of them as possible to get together for one hour a night, two nights a week to work together and have fun," Brown said. "Whether that's 10 guys or 25 guys, they can get a lot of work done and be ready for practice."
Practice begins on Aug. 19, the first day of school.