Springwood football begins camp for former JV Wildcats

Published 8:03 pm Monday, July 22, 2019

LANETT — It’s never too early to begin preparing. 

Most of the junior high members of the Springwood School football team are reporting to camp on Tuesday morning to get better accumulated with the varsity system.

“We’re going to give them a head start on the year by working with them just a little bit,” Springwood School head football coach John Gartman said. “That’s all it’ll be.”

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Gartman was hired by Springwood in late July of last year, just weeks before the season started. 

The junior varsity Wildcats finished the 2018 season with a 1-5 record. 

Due to a low count of numbers, the junior varsity players are merging with the football team this year at Springwood.

The camp is an official practice, Gartman said, it is only an opportunity for the coaching staff to work with the younger Wildcats more before the remainder of the varsity team joins this fall.

“I’m going to work with them for a while,” he said. “We’re going to throw the ball around some, try to have some fun with it and get them a head start ahead of the varsity.” 

Gartman said that his goal for the Wildcats is to get the players to play smart and disciplined. The way to build both of those components up, in his opinion, is to get more repetition in that department.

“I want them to have a good understanding of what we’re doing so that we don’t make any mental mistakes, we don’t hurt ourselves, there are no busted plays or anything like that,” Gartman said. “We’re looking to have a good starting foundation on the year so that we can play well.”

Sophomore running back Ethan Plank was a standout from last year’s junior varsity team who also contributed to the Wildcats’ backfield during varsity games as well. Plank and other Springwood backs are expected to play a big role in the offense this season as the Wildcats will go back to the Wing-T formation.

“We will spice it up a little bit,” Gartman said. “Last year, we were two tight [end] Wing-T. This year, we will get in the gun a good bit with it, but it will still be Wing-T principles. It will be the same off gaps, just a different flair to it.”

Springwood begins the 2019 season on the road at Success Unlimited on Aug. 23.