Like a July scorcher, players will also be warming up during Paschal’s freshman football camp July 28-July 30.
The camp is open to all freshmen, but about 95 percent of those who attend are incoming Paschal students, head coach Matt Cook said. While other camps focus on strength and conditioning, Paschal’s freshman camp focuses on technique and fundamentals.
“It gives our coaches a chance just to work with those guys before the season starts the next week,” Cook said.
Now in its seventh year, the camp usually averages between 45 to 65 boys, Cook said. It is a low pressure, non-contact camp that allows the team to bond without the stress of older students.
“Anytime you’re a freshman, it’s a new school, you’re surrounded by older kids," he said, "you’re trying to make an impression, you’re trying to impress coaches, you’re trying to win a playing spot.”
Incoming freshman J.C. Rispress plans to be among those at the mostly Panther camp.
Rispress, who attended McLean Middle School, has been playing football since he was four-years-old, he said, and is looking forward to the summer camp. Rispress hopes to eventually make the NFL and attend college, he said, preferably, at TCU.
“Getting better at football,” is the goal, he said. “I plan to go with it.”
Another Paschal student, Dylan Thomas, is also going for it.
“He’ll be a junior, he’s been offered a full-ride football scholarship from TCU,” Cook, who was part of TCU’s 1994 Independence Bowl team coached by Pat Sullivan, said.
But that isn’t Thomas' only offer.
“He has been offered by SMU as well, Cook said, and he’ll probably have quite a few other offers."
Thomas, at 6 foot 2 ½ inches and 190 pounds, runs like a deer, is a dual threat quarterback, is hard to take down and can throw, Cook said.
“TCU was the first to offer. He’s still thinking about it.” he said. “We’ve had quite a few go play at different places over the last six or seven years, nobody has gone to TCU as of yet.”
Cook said it will be exciting if Thomas chooses TCU, but he still has a few years before he has to worry about it.
Paschal has four football teams, and Cook said the little things are what he enjoys most about coaching.
“I like the joy from a win, and I like the life lessons that you can teach through football,” he said. “We are all great individual football players, but that isn’t what makes a team. You’re only as good as your 10 buddies you are playing with.”