We got a reminder over the weekend that football season is just around the corner.
The Seventh Annual East Central Football Camp took place Friday and Saturday, which was held locally at Borgia and St. Clair. Parkway West, Ft. Zumwalt West and Ft. Zumwalt East also were hosts for the camp, which was started by coaches Dale Gildehaus of Borgia and Jeff Duncan of Parkway West
A total of 32 high school football teams participated in the event, eight teams at each venue.
I saw each of our area teams play at one point over the weekend. Those teams were Borgia, Washington, St. Clair, Union, Pacific, Owensville and St. James.
There were definitely a few things that stood out.
First of all, we’re going to have some good quarterbacks in our area this fall.
Competing in the camp were seniors-to-be John Baumstark of Borgia, Luke Hasenjaeger of Washington and Kyle Juergens of St. Clair.
All three of those quarterbacks looked really good. Moving the ball was not an issue for the Knights, Blue Jays or Bulldogs.
A pair of sophomore-to-be quarterbacks stood out as well. Those would be Union’s Blake Hulsey and Pacific’s Cory Parrish.
“We have some exceptional football players in our area. Just look at four quarterbacks right off the bat — John Baumstark, Luke Hasenjaeger and the two kids at St. Clair and Union,” Gildehaus said.
“Baumstark is a heck of a quarterback. He makes Borgia’s whole team go. He reminds me of Matt Scheible and Justin Hinni (former WHS quarterbacks) with his ability to be another tailback in the backfield. Luke has really stepped up his game and also has taken a leadership role for us,” said Washington Head Coach Zach Schneider. “Pacific’s quarterback can run and throw the ball. He was impressive. I told Coach (Cody) McDowell at St. Clair that Pacific is a team to watch out for. Union is young, but they have a quarterback loaded with talent. He’ll make their offense work.”
Sullivan did not compete in the camp, but the Eagles also will return a senior quarterback in Adam Tiefenbrunn.
The second thing that stood out to me was the Pacific Indians.
Pacific had 42 players at the camp, which was awesome to see. In recent seasons, the Indians have struggled to have 40 kids during the actual season.
And the Indians had some game. Parrish is going to be a very good quarterback. He was right on the money with most of his throws.
Gildehaus and Schneider both went out of their way to say how impressed they were with Pacific.
“The biggest surprise of the camp — Pacific,” Gildehaus said. “Pacific was impressive.”
“I was most impressed with Pacific’s kids,” Schneider claimed. “I know Coach (George) Hinkle is tickled with the numbers he has.”
I’m not predicting Pacific to win the Four Rivers Conference. St. Clair, Union and Sullivan will have something to say about that, but the Indians cannot be taken lightly.
The third thing that stood out was Class 4 District 3, and how loaded it will be.
Remember, we have a new playoff format beginning for the 2012 season.
Instead of a four-team district that advances the top two finishers to the playoffs, schools have been placed into eight-team districts.
The exception is Class 5, where most districts consist of six teams.
The top seed in each district will play the No. 8 seed in the first round, which is week 10, No. 2 takes on No. 7, and so on.
The single-elimination district playoffs will be played over three games with district champions advancing to the state quarterfinals.
Class 4 District 3 features Borgia, Union, St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan, Ladue, Westminster and Priory.
“There’s definitely a lot of talented teams in our district,” said St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell.
“Our district is loaded, holy cow. When the district assignments first came out, who would you think might be the No. 8 seed? Probably Pacific. After watching them play over the weekend, it just makes the district that much stronger,” Gildehaus said. “Football is getting better in our area and that’s good to see. We know that Union, St. Clair and Sullivan are good. Ladue, Priory and Westminster all will have good teams.”
Washington won’t exactly have a walk in the park in Class 5 District 4 either with Rolla, Camdenton, Waynesville, Lebanon and Smith-Cotton.