STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
BURNET — As some reach for the snooze buttons on their alarms at 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 7, the Burnet Bulldogs will be standing in line, waiting for their football equipment, locker assignments, and other things before taking the field for the first official day of training camp.
Head coach Kurt Jones expects about 115 players in grades 9-12, which is a little smaller in numbers than what the program has had in past years, he said.
Many of the Bulldogs have participated in the summer strength-and-conditioning program that ended two weeks ago.
But that didn’t keep some of the players from leading their own workouts last week, Jones said.
“There were some senior-led workouts,” he said. “I think we have a really good core group that worked hard all summer.”
Having that core group lead by example compels other teammates to show up, too, Jones said.
“That’s huge, just kids having their own work ethic,” he said. “It’s contagious for kids. It might be the most valuable thing an athlete can have. If you’re willing to work, most of the time, no one can stop you from achieving what you want to achieve. If you’re not willing to work, no one can help you. Work ethic may be the number one key ingredient.”
With so many Bulldogs arriving in shape for the upcoming season, training camp can be spent teaching and correcting instead of calling drills to get athletes conditioned.
The coach laughed when asked if he was ready to name a starting quarterback, noting he wanted to get through a few practices before that choice is made.
The Bulldogs will be in T-shirts, shorts, and helmets the first four days then add full pads on the fifth day.
Jones said coaches will closely observe their specific positions to make sure players are lined up correctly and use the proper form.
“You’re really just looking for kids to be sharp with forms and alignments and assignments,” he said. “That’s why you’re out there working. We want kids to show up ready to listen and learn and give great effort. If they’re doing that, we feel like we’re going to get things done.”
The Bulldogs begin the preseason against Austin Reagan at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at Nelson Field, 7105 Berkman Drive in Austin. You can tune in to the Bulldogs games all season at KMPN 95.9 powered by KBEY or online at KBEYFM.com.