New flair for BHS football camp
There were 60 Baldwin High School football players out for last week's camp conducted by coach Mike Berg. But, there were seven other BHS alumni there, too, which made a big difference.
Those seven showed up to help Berg and his staff coach. Heading the list was Aaron Anderson, a 1999 BHS graduate, who was an all-conference lineman for Baker University during his just completed college career. Anderson jumped into the middle of coaching current BHS linemen.
"He knows his stuff. He was coached very well at Baker," said Berg. "He knew the techniques and got it across. I was able to do other positions and not worry about the O-line all the time."
Three other current Baker players and BHS grads were on hand, Tyler Inzer, Mark Gastelum and Zach Good. Also helping out were former players Jake Pittenger, Phil Bayha and Brian Lauridsen, who just graduated this year and will play at Tabor College next year.
Berg thinks the "alumni staff" is a big help to the Bulldog program. Current players respond to the coaching and it makes a big difference.
"I think it does," said Berg. "They've been there and play in college. They know the work ethic that those players have and what they've done. Their names are still up on the record boards for weight lifting.
"It makes me so proud and glad that they come back," he said.
Berg has had players come back in the past, but nothing like this group.
"It was our biggest turnout ever," Berg said. "I think it's due to the fact we've got more kids moving on and playing college football. They're here and it's a part of their life.
"Camp gives them a chance to think about football, be around it and get in shape," he said.
The benefits are many. With 60 players, even with the full BHS staff there aren't enough coaches to go around. Adding seven able bodied coaches to the crew really helped.
"We don't have as many kids who have to stand around because we've got more drills going," he said.
Friday's final day included a new feature that Anderson brought.
"Aaron had a lineman challenge the last day," Berg said. "It was a series of different agility drills and techniques. The backs were in on it, too, but the linemen won it, so it was fun."
Another bonus from this year's camp were players that were comfortable with the program. There are no changes, so everyone knew what they were doing.
"I really think we had a good camp," he said. "We haven't really changed our offense or defense, so the kids picked right back up where we left off. It made camp more enjoyable because everyone knew what they were doing.
"It was a great week to have camp," said Berg. "We had a couple of cool days and a couple of kids found out they weren't in cardiovascular shape. We've got time to get that fixed before practice starts. Our speed looked good, too. I'm excited about the season."
There will be more football action this week, too, with Baker University putting on a team camp all week from 7 to 9 p.m. at the high school.
"Most definitely, it's starting to look like football is getting here," he said. "We have camp this week, too."