While the first game of the 2019 season is 10 weeks away, Brownstown Central’s football team works with a sense of urgency in June.
The Braves, who are the reigning Mid-Southern Conference and sectional champions, aren’t tempering expectations this fall.
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This summer, Braves head coach Reed May and his coaching staff added a new event to its preseason: The Tom Allen Football Camp at Indiana University.
On Thursday, the Braves worked with the Hoosiers’ football coaches on skills and scrimmaged against a handful of teams not on their schedule at the John Mellencamp Pavilion and at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington.
The one-day camp featured schools from inside and out of the state, including Hobart, Plainfield, Fort Wayne Wayne, East St. Louis (Illinois), Leo Catholic (Illinois), Althoff Catholic (Illinois), Crispus Attucks and George Washington.
“You get five days of competition, and we use three of those days at the Hanover (College) camp and another day with 7-on-7s (at BCHS),” May said. “We were looking for someplace else to go. This opened up, so we decided to try it.”
Camp registration started at 8:45 a.m. before the camp was broken up into two two-hour sessions.
The first practice focused more on individual skills, while the second was heavy on 11-on-11 scrimmaging.
In the first practice, there was inside (front seven), one-on-one (wide receivers/defensive backs), seven-on-seven and offensive and defensive line work before team offenses and defenses went through eight-play sets.
After eating lunch, the players did more individual work with the coaches before breaking off for scrimmages. The Braves’ first opponent was Plainfield inside Memorial Stadium.
“They had individual periods with the IU coaches and then we had some drill work. The rest of the time, we basically went 11-on-11,” May said. “We went up against Leo Catholic out of Illinois, Plainfield, Hobart and Fort Wayne Wayne. It was good competition. They are bigger schools than we are, and we got to see some different competition.”
Braves senior Derek Thompson said the camp was challenging and that the team has high expectations this year.
“Last year, we came out and had a pretty good season by winning sectional before losing in the regional,” he said. “We’re coming back with 18 seniors total. We’re hoping to make a big run this year. We don’t get to hit often, so it’s really nice we get to go up against other people and kind of knock heads.”
Of those returning seniors this year, many didn’t get much varsity time last fall. May said he’s challenging his seniors to step up early in the summer.
“A lot of these guys that have been with us the past four years need to step up or we’re going to be playing some younger guys,” May said. “Some did well today, and others did not. It’s only June 13, and we have a lot of summer left. We just need to do a lot of improving. Right now, we don’t know our assignments very well. We have a lot of new kids that need to pick it up. We need to get a lot better.”
The Braves will attend at camp at Hanover College from July 10 to 12.