View From the Press Box: 6/28

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 29, 2018 - 7:51 AM

In the last few years June has become the busiest non-season football month of the year. With increased contact days and more local team camps programs can get a lot of work done in the first month of the summer.

Back before summer practice rules were opened to allow more time for teams and coaches to have contact, teams spent summer with some conditioning along with finding out what players would probably show up in the fall.

There were always stories of checking out equipment to players who would come out for a one or two-week camp only to not be seen again. While that still happens the summer camp of old is long gone.

Now with almost two dozen days for practice in the summer players can get more than just conditioning and fundamentals. Now there is actual learning and competition that allows the beginning of fall practice to be more fine tuning then finding out what a team has.

I have seen those changes evolve over the last eight seasons since PrepsKC began in June of 2010. Teams have gone from old school conditioning in a tight two-week period to more spread out over the summer.

This year PrepsKC is featuring what we are calling the Summer Tour. We’ve hit team camps, lineman challenges and will see some 7-on-7. In all we will get a quick look at more than 40 teams in the Metro to give you a taste of what is going on this summer. This will lead us right to fall practice when we will begin team and conference previews.

It’s been a lot of fun already. There have been some great team and individual matchups that have me excited for the coming season.

I believe one of the reason our area is so successful in the postseason is the work the coaches and players put in during the summer. The coaches in the Metro and surrounding areas take the time in the summer to teach and take the hard work of the players and mold it into winning programs.

Even with demands of other sports football programs in the Metro give their players lots of opportunities to get better at football and be a part of other sports. Sometimes when top players are off playing baseball or basketball others have a chance to shine.

The poster boy for stepping up in the summer is Platte County’s Tanner Clarkson who led the Pirates to the Missouri Class 4 semifinals last year. Clarkson only started his senior year backing up standout Justin Mitchell for two years. Mitchell was a talented football player, but baseball was his No. 1 sport. In fact, he just spent his freshman year at Oklahoma starting on a top 25 baseball team.

While Mitchell was playing baseball the last few summers it was Clarkson who was leading Platte County through its summer work. That experience he gained made his transition to a starting spot smooth and continued the success for the Pirates.

I don’t know if there are other stories like that out there this year, but we will find out.

So, stay cool, sit back and enjoy the PrepsKC Summer Tour.