For The Tribune
This past week, the Brownstown Central football team did everything but play a full 11-on-11 game.
The Braves competed in a 7-on-7 contest at West Washington High School on July 11 and hosted Salem, Franklin and Bedford North Lawrence at Blevins Stadium for more 7-on-7 on Saturday.
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In between, coach Reed May said he felt like the Braves took a lot of giant steps forward in preparation for the 2015 season.
“It’s been a great week,” May said. “We started this a few years ago where we go from Saturday to Saturday with all different kinds of events.”
On Friday, the Braves also paid homage to their youth programs.
“This week we had our 56er camp, which (culminated on) Friday night with the punt, pass and kick, we had our middle school camp end with a scrimmage, and then our high schoolers had their superstars competition.
“(Superstars) is a fun event for the fans, we have the cheerleaders here, we have the blood drive going on, and we present awards at the end so it’s kind of a kickoff to the football season.”
The varsity season is right around the corner for the Braves.
“We have two weeks before we start (practice) and five weeks from (last Friday) we play Paoli, so (superstars is) kind of a Friday night kickoff event,” May said. “Hopefully, the fans enjoyed it and hopefully the kids enjoyed it. We got to see all our programs except for our third and fourth flag football. We have about 70 56ers, about 50 middle schoolers and 57 high schoolers so we’ve got a lot of kids out here participating.”
John McKinney placed first in the superstars competition with Jacob Brewer second and Justin Donnells third.
Two of the seniors who said they enjoyed the events last week were Donnells and Clay Wilkerson.
Both said they began playing football in Brownstown in the 56er program. Donnells will play fullback and defensive end, while Wilkerson will be a two-way lineman at defensive tackle and right tackle on offense.
“I like both sides of the ball,” Donnells said. “I’ll definitely do a lot of blocking this year at fullback. On defense, we don’t key on anyone. We just try to get Brewer to make the tackles. We just try to push the offensive line around and (Brewer) gets through the gaps and tries to tackle the ball carrier.”
For Donnells, the football program has been a great experience.
“I enjoy all the fans, my teammates,” Donnells said. “I love it all. We’ve had a real good summer. This past week, I tried to accomplish being a better team player. The team has gotten better and I’m just trying to teach the younger kids how to play football.”
Wilkerson said, “I feel like I’ve had a good summer. The weight room has made me bigger, faster, stronger.”
He rates the power clean as his best event and said he can lift 285 pounds.
“I just like playing football with all my teammates and stuff,” Wilkerson said. “I enjoy blocking. On defense, I key on the guy ahead of me. I look to see what he does, and try to get to the ball.
“Our goal is to win state. It’s going to take teamwork. Everyone has to work hard and play hard. I try to help out the younger players.”
The G.U.T.S. team of Ryan Benter, Cameron Eggersman, Lance Goecker, Noah Reynolds, Wilkerson, Bryce Hughes, Gus Hogan and Devan Davis placed first in the senior pride competition.
May said high school practice will begin Aug. 3 and the Red-Black scrimmage will be conducted Aug. 8.
The Braves will scrimmage at Jennings County on Aug. 7, and will play Paoli on Aug. 14.
The winners were determined by how much they improved on their power club (three lifts combined: squat, clean and bench)
Senior class: Matt Lucas +25 pounds
Junior class: Lance Goecker +30 pounds
Sophomore class: Cole Forrest +55 pounds
Punt: Oakley Sawyer, Carson Darlage, Chandler Stahl
Pass: Darlage, Payton Terry, Bryce Neal
Kick: Criston McCormick, Stahl, Terry
Speed: Cole Brewer, Darlage, Aidan Wayt
Punt: Jake Pauley, Sam Schepman, Grant Elliott
Pass: Schepman, Levi Stahl, Eli Wischmeier
Kick: Wischmeier, Brandon Reynolds, Treyton McElfresh
Speed: Kiernan Tiemeyer, Reynolds, Trapper Dean