Coaches impressed with talent at spring football camp

With a solid core of coaches back for another season, and an array of talented youngsters coming up through the system, the Muskie football program looks as strong as ever as it prepares to capture its third-straight NorWOSSA crown this fall.
In fact, head coach Bob Swing was impressed with the 85 players, many of whom were in grades six and seven, who showed up for the first day of the spring mini-camp last weekend at Westfort.
Some 74 players came back for another three-hour practice on the second day.
“Usually those numbers are in half for the second day because of work [commitments] and church,” noted Swing, in his third year at the helm of the black-and-gold.
“I’m happy with our numbers. They kind of caught me by surprise.”
The spring camp is designed to allow some of the younger players a chance to get much-needed experience before the main camp, slated to open Aug. 19.
Swing said he would prefer to see a large number of younger kids out for the camp so the coaching staff can teach them the basics at an earlier age.
His goal is to develop the junior varsity level even further by increasing the number of players and, more importantly, increase the coaching base to instruct them.
“We would like to get more people out to help coach, even if they can’t come out 100 percent of the time, and we also want to establish more numbers at the ‘B’ level,” said Swing, adding the Muskies have been approached to allow their junior squad to join a Minnesota school league.
“It was a very good camp because it gets the younger guys introduced and lets the older guys help them out,” noted defensive co-ordinator Brent DeBenedet.
“We explain positions to them so they can make a decision as to where they want to play,” he noted.
And many of those who did come out demonstrated talent on the field.
“There were a couple of kids in grade six that had good skills,” enthused Swing. “They could throw, they had good feet, and good quarterbacking skills.”
While the “B” program continues to struggle in the win column (failing to register a win in each of the last two seasons) as they play an exhibition schedule with their American counterparts, Swing said it is still grooming solid football players by the time they reach the senior level.
“A lot of guys have been working hard in the weight room and haven’t gone portly, which is good,” said Swing. “They’re not badly out of shape and they know the plays and the system.”