Barnett’s boys get battle-ready
Cardinals prepare for upcoming season with summer camp
Watching your kids grow up can be a gratifying experience. Just ask Eudora High School Football Coach Aaron Barnett.
Barnett, who arrived as EHS football coach in 1998, will get the chance to continue to watch the progress of 14 seniors who debuted in the Cardinal program during Barnett's first season. As the team held its first camp of the summer, Barnett said the class of 2002 would serve as strong leaders for the younger players.
"I thought the football camp went very well," the coach said. "I've seen these seniors grow up; they know the expectations and what I want them to do. As a whole, each senior does a very good job of what they are capable of doing, whether they are a standout or not."
Since the camp was conducted without pads, the Cardinals worked on fundamentals and put in about half of its offensive plays for the 2001 season, Barnett said.
Senior wide receiver/cornerback Lear Bowling said the camp helped the Cardinals focus on their goals for the upcoming season.
" I think we got a lot done," Bowling said. "We need to step it up a bit more and take the example of last year's seniors and make it even better."
While much of the focus will be on the senior leadership this season, Barnett said the camp was also a good opportunity for some of the younger players to find out what role they will fill for the team.
"With the younger guys, we let them try out for a position," Barnett said. "We want to put them in a position where they will have success and help the team out the best."
Barnett said the team had improved its speed during the off season because of the players' dedication to success.
"We had the best attendance in the weight room (during the off season) and that will make a direct correlation on the field," Barnett said. " We are faster than we were in both the lineman and skill positions and I think if we can run fast, we'll be all right."
The Cardinals will begin practice on August 13 and open their season with back-to-back home games against Frontier League rivals Paola and Louisburg on August 31 and September 7, respectively. Barnett said the team would prepare for the season and build a team image for EHS regardless of its opponent.
"We're not really thinking about Paola yet," Barnett said. "We have to develop a name for ourselves this year."