Bobcats ready to get to work
BLHS coach coping with Kansas rules
Kansas City lost a legend this summer when former Chief's football coach Hank Stram passed away.
Stram had a way with words and became famous after NFL Films put a hidden microphone on his jacket during Super Bowl IV.
Well, Basehor-Linwood has their own version of an exuberant football coach in head coach Steve Hopkins. Somebody needs to put a mic on this guy.
"We just lost five yards for excessive stupidity," Hopkins quipped after his varsity offense did not run a play correctly in a drill during this week's Bobcat football camp.
Hopkins is full of one-liners and besides providing comic relief, he has a way of reaching his players without making them feel like they are two inches tall. His zingers seem to ease the pressure that his players feel, while at the same time proving his point instead of ripping a player's head off.
Hopkins does not criticize his players, he "critiques" them.
"Our kids need to understand that if we are not critiquing them, then they can't improve," Hopkins said. "But even when we critique them, it's because we love 'em and we think they can be good players. And I use the word love. I say, 'guys I love ya or I wouldn't be out here,' because it's hot!"
Hopkins does not believe in belittling a player because he knows they want the same thing he does.
"What we want to do is not tell a kid, 'you've got to want it more,' because that's garbage," Hopkins said. "Everybody wants to be a good player. We've got to tell them what they did wrong and how to correct it."
This week there is a lot of critiquing going on at the Bobcats football camp.
Hopkins, the veteran coach entering his second season with Basehor-Linwood, is using this week to make sure his players learn their defensive schemes and offensive plays and sets. He would also like his players to be fundamentally sound while practicing their schemes and plays, but he is more concerned that they have a grasp of the playbook by the end of camp.
"If we learn what to do and where to go, then we can work on how to in August," he said. "But we've got to know all the what to do's and where to go's by the end of this week, because we're not going to add anything in August."
This week is the only week during the summer Hopkins is allowed to work with all of his players. The team is not able to wear pads or helmets this week, because of rules set forth by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
Hopkins' career until last year was spent in Missouri, where coaches are given more flexibility. On the other side of the state line, teams are entering their second week of practice with full pads this week and resume practice in full pads Aug. 8.
Hopkins is not a fan of the Kansas rules, which he jokingly refers to as "communist."