Basehor-Linwood sees progress in summer football
Basehor-Linwood football players have been busy this summer trying to develop a formula to duplicate last season’s success.
The Bobcats graduated 20 seniors who tied a record for most wins in a season when they posted an 8-2 record. While no one is predicting future success, players have set about preparing for the season that opens with a showdown against Piper.
In June, players attended a full-time team camp at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth. BLHS also held a team camp in which it was able to implement offensive plays and defensive sets.
In addition, skill position players participated in seven-on-seven competitions each week against other schools at Bonner Springs and Piper. The team’s offensive linemen attended a camp at Mid-America Nazarene University.
“The summer is about getting the kids as strong as we can and to be positioned as well as possible for that initial depth chart,” coach Steve Hopkins said.
The initial depth chart is what the Bobcats will take with them into the first week of practice and the first scrimmage.
All of those activities took place in June. Now, players are in the weight room and conditioning for the season under strength coach Ross Schwisow, who made the workouts tougher by the week throughout the summer. End-of-summer strength and conditioning tests are taking place this week.
BLHS coaches are meeting frequently and reviewing game tapes from last season. They are looking toward the future and asking questions.
“How do we make this group of kids work?” Hopkins said. “We have a lot of juniors and sophomores that will play a bunch. We will really count on juniors and sophomores.”
BLHS was a senior-dominated team and had quarterback Brandon Leppke, who was a finalist for the Fontana Award, which goes to the top small school player in Kansas City. He started at quarterback for four years and led the team in rushing and most other offensive statistics.
Seven-on-seven has helped the team begin formulating how it will replace Leppke.
Colin Murphy will be the team’s top quarterback listed on the depth chart when camp opens next month. He led the team in seven-on-seven competition in July.
“He throws the ball awfully well and did a really good job in seven-on-seven drills,” Hopkins said.
Murphy may also line up some at wide receiver, and Hopkins said other players will get time at quarterback regardless of who wins the starting job.
Seven-on-seven also helped the team develop its preseason depth chart. About nine players are in the mix for five skill positions on offense.
On defense, the team has been able to work in new players into its secondary. Hopkins said the team’s defense can gain as much from this work as the offense. They work different players into different spots.
“It lets them compete,” Hopkins said. “It’s a great opportunity to get out there and do it against another team.”
A LOOK AHEAD
Basehor-Linwood will play a different schedule this season. The Bobcats open against Piper. The rest of the schedule is Bishop Ward, Lansing, Bonner Springs, Mill Valley, Turner, Jefferson County West, Tonganoxie and Perry-Lecompton.