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Team camp was all about gaining experience against other teams and team bonding

PHOTO COURTESY OF CROOK COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL - The Crook County High School football team participates in a scrimmage during a team camp at Western Oregon University. Assistant coach Ernie Brooks stands in the foreground. The Cowboys took approximately 40 individuals to the camp, which was held in mid-July, and participated in both varsity and JV competition. The Crook County High School football team recently returned from a team camp at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

"All in all, it was a great camp where we became a lot better in just a short period of time," Crook County head coach Ryan Cochran said of the trip. "I'm proud of how these guys responded to a really hard four days."

The Cowboys took approximately 40 players to the camp and participated in both varsity and JV portions.

"Camp was structured so that players received individual drills and instruction from college coaches in the morning," Cochran said. "The afternoon was structured for scrimmage time against other schools. In the evening, it was linemen and lineman challenges while skill groups competed in seven on seven competitions."

Cochran noted that teams played as many as three scrimmages and four seven-on-seven games each day of the four-day camp.

With just 40 players competing on varsity and JV teams that meant that all of the Cowboys saw significant playing time.

"Having two teams at camp, we could separate and our varsity teams would play other varsity teams while our JV would play other JV teams," Cochran said. "This gave us a huge opportunity for players to get lots of play time and experience at both levels."

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Linemen work on their blocking technique at the camp. Crook County took approximately 40 players to the camp, where they worked on individual skills, team play, and team bonding. Cochran said that the two main goals for the team were to gain more experience and to become a closer unit.

"Some of our guys have never had varsity experience," he said. "This gave them an unbelievable opportunity to get experience in a competitive situation against other teams. But there is no doubt about it, team bonding is one of the biggest things we get from camp. Every night we had character talks and lessons and really grew together. Being able to spend four days together working, competing, eating, sleeping together, does amazing things for the team. We came back a different, more tight-knit group."

The Cowboys have attended the same camp for the past several years, but Cochran said that this year was different. Not only was he pleased with how much the team learned and progressed, he was also extremely happy with much effort players put into the camp.

SUBMITED PHOTO - Players work on agility drills during Western Oregon team camp."Players that go to camp get a lot of technique and the ability to see that we are teaching some of the exact same things that college coaches are teaching," he said. "These guys worked harder in camp than I have seen in a long time."

The Cowboys now have a couple of weeks to work on conditioning before the first day of fall practice, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 19.

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