Nearly 200 football players from not only Excelsior Springs High School, but from Lawson, Polo and Lexington also, met last week at Tiger Stadium for football camp. The Excelsior Springs Quarterback Club held the team camp and the Tigers did not disappoint as the offense rolled up six touchdowns and the defense came up with several turnovers, sacks and big hits in the controlled scrimmage atmosphere.
“This was another great opportunity for our players to go out and compete against some local schools,” said Tiger Head Coach Andy Sims. “I am very thankful for Quarterback Club for providing this opportunity, not just for our boys, but for all of the players that got to come out and play.” The camp featured several game-type situations and finished with an inspirational speech by former Kansas City Chief Billy Baber.
Junior Tiger football player Nick Masoner had a big day during camp, scoring three touchdowns on runs of a 35 and 30 and also hauling in a 35-yard touchdown from Austin Lewis. Defensively Masoner also found his way to the ball carrier several times and left his impact on the opposition with several big hits.
“Nick is just a great player,” continued Sims. “It’s not just his playmaking ability, it’s his attitude and work ethic that sets him apart. In the three years I’ve known him, I have never heard him complain. I’ve never heard him gripe. Trust me, he could have, but he is all about the team.”
“Nick is a tough kid. I love players like that, there comes a point in a ballgame when it’s the fourth quarter and your legs feel like they weigh 100 pounds and you can’t breathe. That’s when you find out what you’re really made of. That’s when you have to reach down deep and ask yourself just how bad do you want this? Let me tell you, Nick seems to relish those moments. That’s when he shines. Plain and simple, that kid is a winner.”
Sims shared the names of several other Tiger players that excelled during camp as well. Offensively, Corey Scoma scored a touchdown and made several key blocks, springing Tiger running backs Masoner and Sly Harbour. Scoma also came up with a key catch on a scramble play from Alex VanFossan. Austin Lewis faired well representing the Tigers and excelled in running the ball from the quarterback position and scored two touchdowns.
Coach Sims believes that offensively the Tigers are heading in the right direction and on the defensive side the team is improving daily. A main focus for the Tigers during the camp was to integrate new schemes and improve their passing game from last year.
“I think that we have taken a step in the right direction with throwing the football, but we can’t lose our toughness and our run philosophy. It’s still a work in progress,” said Sims.
Camp will wrap up next week and the Quarterback Club will have their final football camp next Thursday hosting 2011 playoff teams Platte County and Winnetonka high schools. Winnetonka is coached by former ESHS standout Sterling Edwards.
Football camp is open to the public, Coach Sims is encouraging Tiger fans to come to Tiger Stadium and check out the Tigers from 8 to 10 a.m. It is expected that over 300 players will be attending.
By Jae Juarez • email@example.com