For some football teams, it’s not too early to put on the pads and line up on the other side of an opposing school.
This past Monday through Wednesday, the Brownstown Central football team traveled to Franklin College’s stadium to get a firmer grasp on their 2015 roster.
With a handful of practices under their belt, the 40 Braves saw opposing squads for the first time in live-action play.
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The boys practiced twice Monday and Wednesday and did a three-a-day Tuesday.
“The main thing right now is personnel,” Braves coach Reed May said. “We have some new kids out and different kids in positions. Scheme-wise, we changed some things offensively and defensively and evaluated. Some things looked good, some things looked bad. That’s one of the reasons we go to camp fairly early in the summer. Now, we can say, ‘Well this will work and this isn’t.’
“On paper a lot of things look good, but when you do it they might not look good at all. It’s kind of an experimentation kind of thing and team-bonding thing.”
During the three-day span, the Braves stayed at Franklin. May said the coaches and players were able to have team bonding early on in the sessions.
On the first day, the Braves got to see both sides of the ball.
“The very first practice was a defensive day so we broke them up into that,” May said. “It really didn’t go well, but we did go 7-on-7. That night we did some 11-on-11.
“The good thing was we got to go against some other teams, and they filmed it on ‘huddle.’ So now, I will go back home and watch our personnel on the film when I get a chance. Last year, that really helped us. We had guys who we thought were doing really well but really weren’t very good.”
Southridge, Madison-Grant, Greenfield Central, Wheeler, Ballard Memorial (Kentucky) and Eastern Greene also attended the camp with the Braves.
While Franklin coaches were present during the camp, they worked with the Braves on a limited basis.
“The Franklin coaches supervise the drills and times, but we mostly go on our own,” May said. “Some teams like to have (Franklin coaches) work with the kids but I would rather have us coach our own. They do some different things in college than what we do.”
On Wednesday, the Braves played 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 with Southridge, a strong program.
In his 23 years of coaching at Brownstown, May always has his kids attend a camp. He said this was the fourth or fifth year at this particular camp hosted by Franklin.
On Monday, the Braves will head to Columbus to practice with Columbus East, Bloomington South and Edgewood.
“The IHSAA changed a lot of their rules. Now we can have five days where you can go up against other teams,” May said. “We used three of them at this camp, will do one more on Monday and in July we will go to West Washington for a 7-on-7 tournament.
“There are only 12 days where you can have pads on, so we got to use some of these (camp) days for that. I like doing it early because now I get to have a better handle on our kids. Some guys like to spread it out throughout the summer. I now know what we need to work on, and let’s get ready for August. “
While there is plenty of time before the season, May felt his team grew from the experience at Franklin.
“It went well, it was a great camp,” May said. “The kids got better and that’s the main objective.”