If the amount of work put in over the summer is any indication, the upcoming Pratt High School football season could be a very good one.
The Greenbacks are working hard on the field and in the weight room and have also attended several team camps.
New PHS head coach Jamie Cruce has had his charges working out since the week after school was over. The conditioning program consists of workouts Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 8 a.m.
In the allotted time, the kids lift weights, perform a variety of agility and movement drills, and do conditioning runs. The weightlifting sessions are highly structured with athletes working in pairs or triads. While one athlete in the group is lifting, the second would be spotting and the third would be doing “functional movements” such as push-ups. The athletes move quickly and in an orderly manner through the various stations.
“We like to keep kids busy,” Cruce explained. “We don’t want one kid lifting and everyone else lounging or jacking around.”
About 30-40 players have been attending the workouts, a number Cruce hopes to see increase in the future as the program builds.
“We expect the kids to make it to about 80% of the conditioning workouts,” Cruce mentioned. Recognizing that in a school the size of Pratt, most of the athletes are involved in more than one sport, Cruce gives attendance credit if an athlete misses a conditioning workout because he is attending a sports camp for, say, basketball or wrestling.
This is week 8 of the conditioning program, which is scheduled for 9 weeks. After next week, Coach Cruce will be giving his players time off until practice starts up again August 19 for the fall sports season.
There has been a little bit of what Cruce calls “team install”—introducing the players to basic offensive and defensive schemes. The players had a team camp the first week of summer to prepare for the 2 ½ day Hutchinson football camp the following week. Last Friday, the Greenbacks attended a 1 day camp in Ellinwood, also.
This week is the last week coaches can do “football work” with their players with a limited number of players at any one time, according to KSHSAA rules. There have been only basic offensive and defensive schemes introduced to the players this summer, just enough to allow the Greenbacks to have something to work with at the team camps they have attended.
“They are all working hard,” Cruce noted. “I’ve been very happy with the effort the kids have been putting forth. They have been willing to do everything we’ve asked of them.” Assisting Cruce with the workouts is long-time PHS assistant coach Steve Landry.
Page 2 of 2 - It should be a well-conditioned group of Greenbacks who report for fall practices August 19.