Archive for Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Northwest football coach Barnett braces for busy summer schedule

June 8, 2011

As the 2010-2011 school year comes to a close, the Shawnee Mission Northwest football coaching staff is turning its focus to the fall.

For Northwest coach Aaron Barnett, it’s as if August is already here.

Barnett and his staff have put the finishing touches on their plans for the Cougar Summer Football Camps which will begin next week.

The Cougar staff will hold the high school camp June 13-17, and then return the next week to run both the kindergarten through fifth grade camp and the sixth through eighth grade session.

“Champions are made in the offseason” isn’t just a trite cliché for Barnett and his staff.

“We offer the high school camp as an opportunity to get a jumpstart on the season,” Barnett said of the summer program, which usually includes more than 100 Northwest athletes. “It’s an opportunity to get them thinking about football in the summertime. It also helps the staff and the kids evaluate where they are in terms of their football development.”

Though Barnett has been known to build his teams to success through a perfection of basic skills, he will waste no time in camp getting his future varsity players accustomed to the ins and outs of the basic Cougar offense and defense.

“We’ll talk about the kind of program base plays right from the get-go,” Barnett said. “We definitely have a good core nucleus of guys returning who have a lot of varsity time under their belts, and we’ve got some seniors who have already stepped to the forefront through the winter and spring months by being leaders in the weight room and with offseason workouts.”

After camp is over, team plans include daily weight and fitness programs, plus a couple of 7-on-7 tournaments during the remaining summer months. Barnett is even planning on trying to set up some “neighborly” workouts.

“Right now, we’re trying to organize something with Mill Valley to maybe do some 7-on-7 scrimmages after weights,” he said.

After the high school camp is over, the Cougar staff will reconvene on June 20 to begin the elementary and middle school camps for future Cougar players. With some of the youngest players, the focus is a little bit different for the Northwest staff.

“For the little kids, we want them to walk away excited about the game of football, but also to walk away with some skills,” Barnett said.

To make sure no one leaves empty-handed, each participant at the elementary and middle school camps will leave with a football and camp T-shirt, while each participant at the high school camp will leave with a camp T-shirt and shorts.

The high school camp will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. June 13-17. Both the middle and elementary camps will run from June 20-24 with the middle school camp from 8-10 a.m. and the elementary camp from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The cost of the camp is $65 per participant. All camp forms can be downloaded at smnwfootball.com.

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