Sunday, August 12, 2012

Camp starts Monday

The cooler weather isn't the only thing pointing us toward fall.

High school sports teams hit the field for fall practice tomorrow morning, and you can read more about the football end of things – how summer camp has evolved – in Monday's Observer-Reporter.

Making sure that the Legend of Mike Kovak never dies, I will be touring several area football camps next week, as well as the week after. So far the schedule looks like this:

Monday: Washington
Tuesday: Trinity
Wednesday: Chartiers-Houston
Thursday: Ringgold
Friday: South Fayette

How, you're probably asking yourself, was this determined? Simple. They're my tab assignments. The second week of camp will start select visits, mostly to the places I deem most interesting.

(Monessen, for instance, because of West Virginia recruit Chavis Rawlins. Or McGuffey, where longtime Trinity coach Ed Dalton is in his first year.)

The stop at Trinity will not only be for tab reporting, but I'm also working on a longer piece about head coach Ryan Coyle, who takes this fall despite being just 26 years old.

All this week, look for extras posted on the blog, observations, extra tidbits and quotes.

Also take a minute to read the piece on how camps have evolved. Really is amazing how different they are these days.

I played at Brentwood from 1998-2001, and never did we have our offense 85 percent – a near-universal estimate by the coaches I talked to – installed by the time we started camp, even after adding seven-on-sevens before the 2000 season.

One coach I talked to for the story, Ringgold's Matt Humbert, is similar in age – 27 – and played high school football about a decade ago at Laurel Highlands.

Humbert, who's in his third year at Ringgold, agreed with me, saying it seems like there's a continuous push to install earlier and earlier.

Here's a quote of his that did not make the paper:

"Nowadays there's a higher level of commitment involved," Humbert said. "I'm not saying that it didn't take place when I played, but I really think with seven-on-sevens being what they are, I think that's why schools start as early as they do."

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