Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bobcats hit weights for ‘09 season

July 9, 2009

There is no clock in the Basehor-Linwood High School weight room that counts down to the start of fall practice and football season.

It isn’t necessary.

Coach Steve Hopkins can feel the internal clock beginning to click. He checks the calendar daily. This day was July 2. Football practice starts Aug. 17.

“We are anxious to get out there, but our focus is on the weight room,” he said.

The waiting game plays this time of year for Kansas high school football players and coaches, but this year is a little different in how they prepare for the season.

Kansas State High School Activities Association rules changes have altered the way Hopkins has structured his team’s summer program.

Camp took place the first week of June with 73 players in attendance. It was followed by two-day contact team camp at University of St. Mary.

Since the camps ended in early June, players have participated in summer weights, six-on-one workouts and seven-on-seven competitions.

“It has been excellent for most kids,” coach Steve Hopkins said. “Other kids need to wake up. The vast majority of kids we are pleased with. The ones we are disappointed with will be behind in the fall.”

The team has about 75 players out for football, and 65 of them have done what they have asked, Hopkins said. Others have participated but have just done the minimum.

“Summer is when you move up on our depth chart and get ahead,” Hopkins said. “The guys that take advantage stay ahead the whole season. Summer is move-up time. Some kids unfortunately move back.”

With a new workouts schedule, Basehor-Linwood players were able to learn offensive and defensive plans in the first week and then apply them the rest of the summer.

“Mentally how much we got in, we have got enough in to play two games,” he said. “What we don’t have is the how-to-do things, but we know what to do.

“I told the kids today we are in the middle of season as far as mental preparation. I am optimistic now, I really am.”

Basehor-Linwood’s goals are to be competitive for state championships. The team has made the playoffs three of the five years Hopkins has coached in Basehor, but the Bobcats made the playoffs’ second round just once in those three years. The goal this season is to take a step forward as a program and make a deeper run into the playoffs.

While it is still summer, Hopkins said he liked his team’s depth. This year’s squad will have 22 seniors and a lot of depth featuring experienced players.

“If a kid is hurt, we can replace with a senior or junior or sophomore that has played,” Hopkins said. “That makes a difference.”

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