It's time to start hitting

Dion Clisso/PrepsKC

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: June 4, 2013 - 8:32 AM

The official start of games for the 2013 high school football season may be almost three months away but the summer season is in full swing.
Last Friday and Saturday five area teams came together in Smithville for the Warriors annual team camp. Joining Smithville was Richmond, Lawson and Pleasant Hill from the Missouri side of the state line along with St. James Academy from the Kansas side.
Each team had a chance to kick off the summer season with some game like experience against different color jerseys and find out just what they need to work on in the coming months.
For Pleasant Hill senior Dalainey Taala this short two-day session was a great way to kick off his final year of high school football.
“I just like to see who all is out there and who I’m going against,” Taala said. “I also want to see what our offense and defense can do to beat teams.”
The Roosters are coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2012 and senior leadership like Taala’s will be important. With many returning starters the early summer experience could be key to a turnaround in 2013.
For a team like Lawson two days at Smithville were a chance to try some new things with new players. The Cardinals get the chance to learn and identify areas that need improvement in a situation where the scoreboard is turned off.
“I told my coaches the first time I really start getting mad grab me around the throat because this is all about growing,” Lawson coach Todd Dunn said. “We’ve got a bunch of new guys and we are doing some new things on offense and we are doing some new things on defense. So it’s going to be a little bit ugly and it was at times but there were some bright spots.”
For the host school it was another great year to have four other good programs come and practice game like situations and find out some things early in the summer.
“This is all about getting better,” Smithville coach Greg Smith said. “Every one of these five teams is out here just trying to improve, learn from mistakes. It’s still June and we’re not notching any wins in the column tonight but I think each team would tell you that we improved a little tonight and that’s the goal.”