Lone Jack kicks it into gear

Dion Clisso/PrepsKC

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: August 19, 2013 - 5:30 PM

A team that could take a big step forward in 2013 is Lone Jack. The Mules return almost all of their starters from a year ago and the first week of practice saw a continuation of a strong summer of work.
The program brings back almost all of its starters on both sides of the ball and second-year coach Jason Fenstermaker said the difference could be seen in the weight room during the offseason.
“Last year I was running the weight room and averaged about nine or 10 a day,” Fenstermaker said. “This year if we didn’t have 16 or 17 consistently we were low. We averaged 16 or 17 every day with having 32 players and 11 that are freshmen is pretty good.”
Fenstermaker said the enthusiasm is high as the Mules opened practice last week.
“The boys have been ready,” Fenstermaker said. “We have a good influx of young kids along with the old kids. The young kids are pushing them. We talk about competition. In Class 1 people get complacent a little bit, you know I’m the starter you’re the backup and there’s no true competition. We try to in each individual practice, each individual drill bring out competition in them because competition will make them all better no matter what level they are.”
While the players are all back the first week of practice has seen Fenstermaker break in a totally new coaching staff. All four of his assistants from last year are gone so the players are learning new coaches this year.
Even with those challenges Fenstermaker said everyone is learning.
“I had five staff members including myself last year, four of them are gone so I’ve replaced them with three new staff members,” Fenstermaker said. “So it’s more so of the players getting to know the staff members instead of the staff members getting to know the players. They (the players) know what I expect and they know my routines, the coaches are getting right in there so it is a pretty easy transition for us.”
Lone Jack opens its season hosting Wellington-Napoleon Aug. 30.