Football maybe two months away, but the McPherson High School football team gave a sneak preview of what's to come next season during day one of minicamp before heading off to Hays next week.
A total of 83 players attended to camp at McPherson Stadium, which is the most the football program has ever had under Jace Pavlovich. Pavlovich and his coaching staff are looking forward to the quality depth provided this summer.
"We're excited about where we're at. Our numbers are fantastic," Pavlovich said. "We never had that many kids come out to camp." That can be contributed to our past success. We want to keep all those guys out, and we're going to coach them all up as if they're going to start."
The Bullpups have some holes to fill going into the 2019 season. One of the holes includes the quarterback position after the loss of their record-breaking quarterback Kyler Hoppes. On defense, the Bullpups lost Khalil Lisbon in the front line, but still have a loaded and experienced front seven led by Cody Stufflebean.
"We've grown up a little bit," Pavlovich said. "We got guys, who were backups last year, are now our guys, and they put a good off-season in the weight room, and they are the premature right now.
We are ahead of the game defensively. We have guys that know what they are doing," Pavlovich said. "Even our d-line guys are stepping up and having to be starters this year. They know what they are doing."
It's still too early on who will be the next man at quarterback, and how Pavlovich is going to utilize his offense this year. For now, he wants his players to improve and get back into football shape.
"We're not where we're at, and we're not where we have been in the last couple of years day one in terms of guys knowing their assignments, which is fine. It makes us work a little bit harder as coaches," Pavlovich said. These first four days is a learning camp. We're not conditioning. We're not hitting, and we're not doing anything other than learning our assignments, techniques and key reads. Friday, we're bringing in some teams, and that's when we're going to make a ton of mistakes. That's where we get into not a lot of live football setting, but closer to real football. We will have a lot of mistakes and will get it corrected."
The Bullpups also had some help from coaching staff of McPherson College. It was just one of the benefits Pavlovich has as a coach, continuing to create ties from the Bulldogs football program.
"We have a good relationship with Mac College since I've been here and other coaching staff comes out," Pavlovich said. "How many high school teams have a college head coach come out and run their scout team? Things work so much more smoothly and officially with what you got."
In the last two seasons, the Bullpups made it far to the Class 4A state semifinals. Last season, the Bullpups went undefeated in the regular season, winning 11 in a row, which is the most wins in school history. Opening game will be on Sept. 6 at McPherson Stadium.
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