It may be labeled a summer football camp, but second-year Houston coach Chris Edwards is approaching the week-long sessions as if it was the regular season.
Edwards said this week’s high school camps, which began Monday night, are nearly identical to his practices. The only thing missing is special teams work.
After just one session, Edwards said the team was already far ahead of last year’s squad.
“The difference in camp (this year) has been night and day – just seeing how the kids react to me and knowing what to do,” Edwards said. “When I took over, our fundamentals were really poor. If you come out and look at us this year, we’re quite a bit better. We still have a long way to go. We’re still in a building process. But we’re much improved.”
This is the third summer session for the Tigers, who endured their second consecutive winless season in 2007. They had a week-long camp at the beginning of the summer before traveling to a team camp at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg.
Although the Tigers were the smallest team in a group that ranged from Class 3 to Class 5, Edwards said there were many positives to take from the week.
“The kids competed hard,” he said. “Really, we had a good showing. I think the kids came away with some confidence and a belief that we can improve some things this year..”
Edwards said he has two separate goals for this week’s camp. The first is fine-tuning the no-huddle offense he installed during the first camp. He also wants the team to continue to improve its fundamentals.
For the freshmen and JV players, Edwards is focused to teaching them the team’s base formations and plays.
“Where we’re fine-tuning with the older kids, we’re really trying to teach the younger kids the system,” he said.
This final camp is especially import with football season beginning a week earlier this year. Houston’s season opener is Aug. 29 at rival Cabool.
The first official day of practice is Aug. 11. Because of teachers’ meetings during the day, Edwards said the Tigers will not have two-a-days. School begins three days later.
Houston’s jamboree is Aug. 22 at Sullivan, followed the next week with the season opener that is the first of three straight road games. The Tigers’ home opener is Sept. 19 against Mountain Grove. Homecoming is Oct. 3 against Pleasant Hope.
Notes: Edwards said he will hold a player-parent meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at Hiett Gymnasium. The meeting is for players in the 9-12 grades. …Get every Houston sports schedule online at www.houstonherald.com/sports/schedules.