The Skyline Thunderbird football team has spent a lot of time training at camps this summer.

The Skyline Thunderbird football team is putting in lots of time and effort this summer, which should pay off in the fall when the games start. In high school sports these days, there really is no “off-season” as athletes train and prepare year round.

In mid-June, the T-Birds attended the Ft. Hays camp for a week of full contact activities. There were about 10 schools at the camp this year.

“It was a good group of schools there this year,” said Skyline head coach Jon Novotny.

In mid-July, Coach Novotny held his Team Camp with approximately 20 prospective T-Birds in attendance.

“We stress fundamentals and lay the groundwork for our practice structure,” Novotny explained. “We take it slow and introduce the new guys to the program. By the end of camp, we have all of our basic plays and formations installed.”

Almost all summer, the kids meet before breakfast to lift weights and condition. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, the T-Birds are sweating before the sun comes up as they seek to get bigger, faster and stronger. “We have a 10-week program for them,” Novotny said. “During the two camp weeks, we don’t lift, but we lift all the other weeks.”

Naturally, there are schedule conflicts to work around, but an average of 15+ Thunderbirds can be found engaged in every morning conditioning session. One highlight of the conditioning season is the Strong Man Competition that is incorporated into the team camp.

“The kids look forward to that,” Novotny said. “It’s good motivation for them.”

Overall, the T-Birds have accomplished a lot this summer as they look forward to next fall’s campaign on the gridiron. “The camps went well, I thought,” Coach Novotny said. “Overall, we have had a very productive summer. I have been pleased.”

It is hoped that all the hard work will pay off when football games begin in the fall.