Football squad holding spring camp this weekend

Heading into his third campaign as head coach of the Muskie senior football team, Bob Swing knows exactly what he has in terms of returning talent as he prepares to ‘three-peat’ as NorWOSSA champs.
But what he wants to find out is what’s out there in terms of future talent.
This weekend’s spring camp, slated Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon at Westfort field, is designed to give his coaching the staff the chance to take a good look at some future Muskies.
All players are invited to attend this non-contact skill development camp (at no cost). Helmets and shoulder pads can be picked at the field today or tomorrow from 4-5 p.m.
Any questions can be directed to Swing at 274-4656.
While the black-and-gold will be without the services of the likes of receivers Mike Noonan and Gary Wagner, and stalwart offensive lineman Bill Crewson (all lost to graduation) heading into this season, Swing said he isn’t too worried.
“All of our backup linemen played significant minutes last year, and we won’t begin to [seriously] look to our passing game until the season matures because it’s so important to establish our running game,” he noted.
Swing said the change of linemen may affect what type of plays the team may call at different times this season but he doesn’t foresee it having a negative effect.
“We’ll continue to call plays that our players will do well with,” he stressed.
On the plus side, the Muskies will have starting quarterback Jon Caul and the league’s leading rusher in Terry LaBelle back to bolster what was a potent offensive attack last season.
And the defence, which was outstanding for much of last year, should be strong once again with several key players returning.
What Swing intends to do this weekend is take a serious look at the younger talent coming up, many of whom played last season for the Muskie ‘B’ program.
“We want to bring out as many [young] kids as possible so they can come out and learn fundamentals [of the game] while interacting with the senior players,” said Swing.
“[The camp] is a chance for the players to interact and [the coaching staff] will teach them the basic skills and techniques,” added defensive co-ordinator Brent DeBenedet.
Although the ‘B’ team has failed to win a game in the past two seasons while playing an exhibition schedule against its American counterparts, Swing still feels the program has been successful in producing quality football players for the senior squad.
“I’m not concerned with them losing,” he said. “I would be concerned if we weren’t getting high-calibre players but we are being given four or five bonafide starters every year.”
Swing said he would expect ‘B’ players like Adam McTavish, Mark Mercure, and Joey Sletmoen to have a good chance of playing–and possibly starting–with the Muskies this fall.
He also noted the success of the junior program, which will undergo a change next season by having a pair of co-coaches instead of a head coach, has him leaning towards the possibility of expanding the football program here in town even further to include kids in grades five through eight.
But he stressed there must be a strong contingent of sound, qualified coaches in place first before that idea would get off the ground.
“We wouldn’t be able to have a league due to a lack of players available [due to the town’s population] but we would be able to produce a quality program,” he said, adding the idea would take around two to five years to establish.