Summer is not summer without football, but usually it’s around August when we start talking about the sport. But with the return of Joe Clayton as head coach of the Trojans, the Southern Utah University football camp returns and this means the players were out in the heat preparing for next week’s camp.
This summer 75 kids suited up for football. This translates into about 35 players on the varsity team.
“We have a good turnout and have not had a day under 75 kids,” Clayton said. “The first few days of camp were in the 100s and the team got a lesson in hydration.”
On Monday the Trojans started a one-week minicamp to get in shape for the Southern Utah University football camp next week. Trojans coach Joe Clayton started this tradition three years ago and now that he has returned to coaching, the team will be going again. The Trojans leave on Sunday and the players are up for the camp.
“It’s great to have Joe (Clayton) back,” senior player Aaron Fuentes said. “We are so excited as a team to have him back. The energy on the team is really high.”
Fuentes should be a strong fullback for the team this year and will be taking Tommy Gascoigne’s place. He has gained a good 15 pounds since he started as a freshman and will be playing at 210 pounds. Fuentes is working hard at football and took the summer off from baseball to work.
“I want my baseball coach to know I am not lazy and that I am still going to my hitting coach during the summer,” he said.
Seeing Fuentes work out on the field and looking at the work he has put in at the gym will probably keep him out of the lazy category.
As far as who will take over for TJ Milk, the rumor is senior Parker Hart. Hart has fought for the position for the last three years. At the moment it is too early to tell if the rumor is true.
After the camp, the players take a brief break for the Fourth of July holiday and then return for conditioning, which runs the month of July starting on July 6 and is a Monday through Thursday routine. Football picks up in August with a heat acclimatization period from Aug. 3-6. Full contact will start on August 11 and the team’s first scrimmage is on August 19 at 6:30 p.m. against Durango. There will be a spaghetti dinner/cake auction fundraiser on Aug. 13 in the high school cafeteria.
The team is coming off a 3-6 overall season after one year of Adam Gent. Gent decided to go elsewhere after the season and that is when Clayton decided to return to football.
According to Clayton, he will bring back his Jet Sweep offense, which means a strong running game.
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