Rain sets Cat seven-on-seven team back
In past summers Brad Scott used the Great Plains Shootout football camp in Lawrence to catapult his program ahead of the competition.
After rain washed out the 7-on-7 portion of the sessions June 4, the Wildcats had to start summer league play on even terms with the teams they will compete against this fall.
"We usually have that tournament under our belt," Scott said. "So this year we had to go in like everybody else. We have some new faces, and we're awfully young, so we're going to go through some growing pains. But we'll be alright."
Scott said he has a quarterback that can throw the ball and some receivers that can catch it mixed in with the inexperienced players. He and the rest of the Wildcats coaching staff hope to tweak the passing game so they can take advantage of that talent.
Although past Wildcats football teams had players that could catch the football, this year's edition would catch the pigskin on a more consistent basis, Scott said.
"They used to be like a basketball player," he said. "Shooters will sometimes run hot and cold. Our guys would catch a few balls and then they'd drop a few. Now we have guys who are athletic and they can run and jump. We want to utilize some of that talent."
Scott said it was tough to get a gauge on how talented the opposition was because of the different philosophies each school has taken to the program. Some schools have a couple of stud players they will often play in a tight game.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, believe in getting in as many reps as they can in the offense they will run this fall.
"We use our reps to get better," Scott said. "It's an excellent opportunity for us to practice football."
The league uses a touch-football format and is played on a 40-yard field. Teams are given four downs and have to go 10, 15 and 15 yards for either a first down or a touchdown. When a team has possession of the ball, its backs and receivers go up against the defensive backs and linebackers of the opposition.
After four games this spring, the Wildcats are 1-3. De Soto opened the season with a 30-28 win over weekly host Gardner-Edgerton. They then lost to Paola 27-20. The Wildcats fell Monday to Baldwin 24-8 and Louisburg 22-16.
The Wildcats still have games left against Ottawa, Anderson County and Wellsville. They will play two of them at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Monday in Gardner. The final game will be June 27. Following the latter game all of the league teams will be seeded by record and placed in either a first-, third-, fifth- or seventh-place game to be played yet that night.
Scott said he was happy with the overall shape of his football team.
"We've had a good turn out in the weight room," Scott said. "The kids have been in the program now for a few years. They know what to expect. That weighs easier on me."
After watching the Wildcats struggle at times the week before, Scott and his coaching mates tried to wear down the Wildcats.
"Our kids are in good shape as a whole," Scott said. "They went right through the workout. To make that kind of recovery in a week, I think says a lot about how hard they've been working."