McPherson High football coach Jace Pavlovich said the positives far outweighed the negatives at the annual Pittsburg State camp that his team attended over the weekend.
“We had a great camp,” said Pavlovich, who has taken over for Tom Young after serving nine years as defensive coordinator as they helped lead MHS to a 75-22 record. “I was really happy with how physical we were. There is no doubt we took a big step in the right direction.”
The Bullpups had gone through their team camp earlier in the week and the strengths from that showed through at Pittsburg.
“As expected, our offensive and defensive lines were the strength of our team at camp,” Pavlovich said. “Defensively, our front four was pretty aggressive. They were able to defend the run against Wing-T teams like Washburn Rural and get pressure on the passer against spread teams such as Carthage (Mo.) and Blue Valley.”
The Bullpups are coming off a 7-3 season, a district championship and ninth straight appearance in the playoffs. However, they started seniors at the majority of the positions, so when they kick off this fall there will be a lot of new faces in new places.
“In every position, we had some young kids really step up and impress us, which adds to the element of competition in practice,” Pavlovich said. “All told, the coaching staff has about 800 plays to evaluate our guys with and reset the depth chart according to their grades. What often gets overlooked in this whole process is the amount of time and effort that is put in by the coaching staff. These guys spent countless hours away from their families to prepare our players.”
Unlike some years, the Bullpups came out of the camp unscathed.
“Most importantly, we are healthy exiting camp,” Pavlovich said. “Some of our kids will have the next five days off and we will begin with our summer SPS to improve our athleticism. The underclassmen will continue to improve on their technique and schemes on June 13 at the Bethany team camp.”