Farmington High School head football coach Erik Kruppe and members of his football team readied themselves for the start of next year’s football season during a mini-camp on June 8 through 12 on Jack Richardson Field at Haile Memorial Stadium.

“You don’t start thinking about the next football season in the fall,” Kruppe said. You start thinking about the next season in June.”

During the five day mini-camp, freshmen through seniors donned helmets and hit the field at 6:30 a.m. ready to run plays, work on technique and get used to working as team once again.

“The coaches and the kids have been excited all week,” Kruppe said. “For the players, it really feels like it's football when you have a helmet on and you’re moving around.”

Kruppe and his coaches did have his players moving around. During one morning workout, the offensive line was running drills at one end of the field while the defensive line was running drills and working on their speed at the other end of the field. In the middle, the receivers were running routes and patterns that will be used during the upcoming season.

“This is a good review for the older players,” said defensive line coach Chad Winch. “For our younger players, it really gives them a head start for when we start up in July.”

In addition to running plays and drills, the Farmington Knights met up against some of their league rivals, such as, Potosi, North County and Central high schools in a friendly seven-on-seven competition.

“On Mondays and Wednesday during the month of June, we will be playing some seven-on-seven,” Kruppe said. “Then, on June 27, we will be going to play in a seven-on-seven tournament in Bethalto, Illinois. It’s always good for us to play against others we don’t usually get to see.”

For the players, hitting the field at the beginning of the summer is just a dress rehearsal for the fall.

“I think it helps,” said Noah Patterson, offensive and defensive lineman. “It refreshes us after a long break, and it will get us ready when we start back up in July.”

After a long morning on the field, leading the Knights into the weight room was returning quarterback Brandt Busenbark who is feeling confident about the team’s chance during the upcoming season.

“I feel pretty good about this year,” Busenbark said. “Our offense is looking much better as compare to last year and the defense is looking good. I think we will surprise a lot of people this year.”

Although the season is still more than two months away, the Knights are making sure they will be ready to hit the field when the time comes.

Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-513-3629 or cvaughn@farmingtonpressonline.com

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