Football camps kick in
It's hot, it's dry, that's July. But, it can mean only one thing football is just around the corner.
That's evident by last week's Youth Football Camp and this week's version for Baldwin High School and Baldwin Junior High School football players. BHS coach Mike Berg ran the youth camp and is running the high school camp this week. BJHS coach Nick Harris is in charge of the junior high camp.
"We had a good turnout for the youth camp," said Berg. "We had 35 show up, which is above average.
"The high school camp started Monday morning and we had 55 out, which is a little down," he said, adding that some players are attending the national wrestling tournament in Fargo, N.D. "It's early yet."
Harris had a good turnout for the junior high camp Monday evening.
"We had 45 Monday night. We had 20 seventh graders and 25 eighth graders. We've got about 20 kids still involved with baseball, so they weren't there," said Harris. "We're having a great camp.
"Everyone is very enthusiastic. We've got the same coaching staff as last year," he said. "Coach Berg, the other high school coaches and some graduated senior players came over Monday and helped out, too. The kids are learning and having fun."
Although temperatures were high for Monday's opening day of camps, there have been no problems associated with the heat and all precautions are being taken, Berg said.
"We've got the No. 1 trainer on the field," he said of Gary Stevanus. "We're taking plenty of water breaks."
Both camps will last through the week. The high school camp is 7 to 9:30 a.m. and the junior high camp runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Both coaches are also expecting additional players when the season rolls around in August.
"We're hoping to pick up another 25 going into the season," said Harris.
The high school season will begin with a Gatorade scrimmage at 7 p.m. Aug. 30. Location of the scrimmage hasn't been set yet. BHS opens the season Sept. 6 by playing host to Anderson County.
The Bulldogs are in a different district this year. District opponents are Santa Fe Trail, Topeka Hayden and Perry-Lecompton. In the past, Frontier League schools have been Baldwin's district opponents. Unlike previous years, two teams will advance from district play.
Another change this year is the Frontier League has been divided into big and small divisions, with five teams in each. Baldwin is in the big school division along with Paola, Gardner, Louisburg and Spring Hill. The small school division is comprised of Eudora, Osawatomie, Anderson County, Wellsville and Prairie View.
Also missing from the schedule for the first time ever is arch-rival Wellsville. BHS will also not play Osawatomie. Besides the three district games and the four against big school opponents, Baldwin will play Eudora in addition to opening against Anderson County.