Borgia Head Football Coach Dale Gildehaus calls it the unofficial start to the high school football season.
The Eighth Annual East Central Football Camp took place last weekend at Borgia, Hermann, Parkway West and Ft. Zumwalt East.
Gildehaus and Parkway West Head Coach Jeff Duncan started the camp eight years ago. Duncan was the head coach at Washington at the time.
The camp has really taken off.
A total of 39 schools participated, including every Four Rivers Conference school except St. Clair, and of course New Haven.
St. Clair Head Coach Cody McDowell recently told me he just wanted to try something different this year and have his camp toward the end of July, closer to the start of the fall season.
Taking in Saturday’s games at Borgia, I got a look at Borgia, Washington and Sullivan. Anyone who thinks that Sullivan will be down in the dumps this fall after graduating a talented senior class is greatly mistaken.
The Eagles once again will be a factor in the FRC.
Remember, running back Justin Biermann returns for his senior season. He looked nearly unstoppable Saturday against Borgia and Washington.
“When you have Justin Biermann carrying the ball, you’re going to be just fine,” Gildehaus said.
Sullivan, Union and St. Clair figure to be the top three teams in the FRC heading into the 2013 football campaign.
Washington running back and senior-to-be Kyle Summers also looked strong and is poised for a big season.
“Not to put any pressure on them, but if they both stay healthy, Kyle Summers and Justin Biermann could be two of the top running backs in the St. Louis area,” said Washington Head Coach Zach Schneider. “Biermann is already at that level for what he did last season.”
Borgia also has some kids who can handle the rock.
Drake Raftery looked very good out at running back. The Knights also have a talented pair of quarterbacks in Justin Baylard and Kelan Winters, who comes to Borgia after playing on the junior varsity level as a freshman in Texas last season, according to Gildehaus.
Gildehaus said a few teams at Borgia caught his attention during the camp.
“Washington and Sullivan looked very good, especially with the size and the running backs they have,” Gildehaus said. “Christian, who won the small division in the AAA last season, they’re good. The team that impressed everyone was McCluer South—Berkeley. Wow. They have talent and speed everywhere.”
Duncan said there was plenty of talent playing at the Parkway West venue, including Vianney running back Markel Smith.
“He ran all over the place,” Duncan said of Smith. “Vianney’s offense looked strong and everyone struggled against Webster Groves.”
Speaking of talent and speed, another SEC football season is just around the corner for Missouri.
What will Missouri bring to the table this season?
The Tigers should be 4-0 after four nonconference games to start the season, but then play eight straight SEC games.
Their first four SEC games are at Vanderbilt and Georgia followed by home games against Florida and South Carolina.
The schedule eases up a bit in November with games against Tennessee, Kentucky and Ole Miss before closing at home against Texas A&M.
Mizzou had two SEC wins last year. The Kentucky and Ole Miss games are on the road. Do you see more than two wins?
The Rams’ training camp starts in late July. The first practice session open to the public is July 25. An open scrimmage takes place Aug. 3 at the Edward Jones Dome.
It’s a big season for quarterback Sam Bradford, who finally has some weapons around him.
Receiver Tavon Austin, who the Rams drafted with the eighth overall pick, is going to be fun to watch.
Tight end/receiver Jared Cook is going to be a major part of the offense. The offensive line should be solid with the addition of tackle Jake Long.
I’m still not sure who’s going to run the ball. Did anyone else notice that the Denver Broncos recently released running back Willis McGahee? Interesting.
After opening the season at home against Arizona, the Rams play their next three games against Atlanta and Dallas on the road and at home against San Francisco on a Thursday night.
It’s going to be a fun football season.