Tackle, block, drill, get ready
In an intense week of work in 90-degree heat, 30 Marion Florence High School football players honed their game skills at football camp last week.
Head coach Shaun Craft said all camp participants would be part of the team.
“We’re a smaller school where everybody plays,” Craft said.
Craft said watching players drill, tackle, and learn to work together as a team gave him a positive feeling about the season’s odds.
“Some of these kids are not very big and not very strong as freshmen, but by the time they are seniors, they are better players,” Craft said. “I enjoy working with the kids and watching them develop over the years. I try to teach them life lessons — a lot of things with football carry on over their lives.”
His hopes for the team ride high.
“We’re making a good drive for it,” Craft said. “We have a lot of voids to fill after losing so many seniors last year. It’s basically a whole new team this year. Our quarterback, Chase Stringer, is the only returning full-time starter on offense.”
Team members have worked hard all summer, Craft said.
Lifting and conditioning began the second week of June, and team members have shown enthusiasm for the game.
“I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve seen,” Craft said. “They’re starting to work together well and gel together.”
The season officially will kick off Aug. 31 against Hutchinson Trinity.
“Our goal we set is to win championships, starting with the league championship,” Craft said. “We’ll see where it goes from there.”
During camp, players divided into work groups for specific drills and then worked on whole-team practice before going home.
“They have to learn both sides of football, offense and defense,” Craft said.
Craft teaches physical education, health and weightlifting at both middle and high schools.
He was assistant football coach for 12 years. This is his first year as head coach.
Assistant coach Jordan Metro is the district’s accountant. This is his first year coaching football but his sixth as assistant baseball coach.
Assistant coach Kyle Gfeller is newly hired by the district and will teach social studies in middle school.