Aslin lays groundwork for Bonner Springs football program
It’s been three months since Lucas Aslin, the former head coach of the Garden City Community College football program, was named as the new head coach at Bonner Springs High School. But Aslin already is moving at breakneck pace to get his team ready for fall.
“I couldn’t get here full-time until May because I had two months of teaching commitments left in Garden City,” Aslin said recently, “but since I’ve been here I put most of our staff together and have been busy promoting football. The numbers have been down recently, but we have a good number of kids in the younger grades who are beginning to participate.”
Aslin’s first focus upon settling in to his new job was to get his players into the weight room. Power from the core of each player will be a particular emphasis for Aslin and his staff as they try to develop players who have a solid base of strength.
“The biggest thing right now is trying to establish our weight program that meets the needs of our guys,” Aslin said. “We’re having them concentrate on more power and more multi-joint lifts. I ran the weight room at Garden City so I have a good feel for it. At a smaller school like ours we have a lot of kids who are going to be multi-sport athletes, so we’re trying to help them more than just being a football player. We’re having them use their hips and do some things that are uncomfortable, but those lifts are how you become more explosive. I want our guys to compete against each other in the weight room.”
Aslin also has been busy helping players develop their seven-on-seven program. After a successful trip to Topeka in which Aslin was pleased with the way his players performed, Aslin now has those same players in a Monday night seven-on-seven league composed of 15 area teams. On those Monday nights, Braves players are getting in three or four games per session.
Through most of June, Aslin and his staff have been able to watch their athletes both in the weight room and on the field. Aslin has seen enough to identify some key strengths and determine the most important needs of the team.
“On the positive side, most of the kids are really buying in to what we’re trying to feed them,” Aslin said. “I’m a bit different than (former) coach (Lew) Kasselman, and sometimes that can be difficult for coaches and players when a new head coach comes in. But they’re competing hard for us. We need them to be coachable, and they really have been.
“As far as negatives go, we’re going to be very young. We really have some commitment from the younger kids in the program, and we’re going to play a lot of young kids in the fall. With that there will be some growing pains, but it will pay dividends down the road.”
For most of his tenure as the Garden City head coach, Aslin was in charge of the Broncbusters’ defense. With that in mind, many fans are likely to conclude that the 2011 Braves will be a team focused primarily on defense. However, Aslin wants it known that he is a coach who appreciates an offense’s ability to put numbers on the scoreboard.
“When I was coaching at Garden City I really emphasized speed on defense,” Aslin said. “I wanted to get a fast defense that really put the pressure on the quarterback. But I like to score points. I like to throw the ball. This year we’re probably going to be more heavily to the run than I’ve been in past years. We need to develop that talent base before we can start throwing the ball more. You’ve got to work with what you have year-to-year. Basically, on offense we’re going to try to be very physical, and on defense we’re going to hit as hard as we can and try to take the ball away.”
In all, Aslin expressed excitement for the future of Bonner Springs football. That future is approaching very quickly for Aslin and his staff as mid-July ushers in the Braves’ football camp, where the head coach will try to get his team ready for a challenging Kaw Valley League schedule.
“We’ll have our one-week camp on July 11th through the 15th in just helmets,” Aslin said. “Then, on August 15th, we begin practices.”
“I think it’s a really good league. We have a very front-loaded schedule with a Topeka school, Mill Valley, and Basehor pretty early. I recruited from a lot of these schools when I was at Garden City, so I’m a little bit familiar with what they run. Hopefully, we can fight through our league schedule and that will get us ready for district play. It’s going to be a tough battle.”