FORT RECOVERY – Arcanum’s football team wrapped up the final day of training camp on Thursday by traveling to Fort Recovery, an Ohio High School Athletic Association state champion just two years ago.
The teams’ linemen worked on drills together while the rest of the players competed in a seven-on-seven scrimmage, a format that includes no linemen, no blitzing and no rushing plays. Arcanum coach Jason Schondelmyer was glad to see his team finish camp on a high note with a competitive night against a strong team.
“This is a quality program,” Schondelmyer said. “Obviously they’re state champions two years out, and Coach (Brent) Niekamp just does a great job so I felt like we competed harder tonight, and I felt like we were more physical. I thought our effort was better tonight.”
It was the second and final seven-on-seven scrimmage of the season for the Trojans, who last week played host to Ansonia, Brookville, Dixie and Lehman Catholic.
Fort Recovery’s passing attack is more advanced than what Arcanum will generally see in the Cross County Conference, but it was a good challenge for the Trojans.
“It’s good for our defense really,” Schondelmyer said. “I mean it’s good for our kids to see that. We don’t see a whole heck of a lot of that in the CCC although times are changing and I’m sure Fort Loramie now coming into the league they’ll probably throw a little bit more than some other teams and every once in a while you’ll run into a team that’s spread, but for me and this conference really it still boils down to blocking and tackling in the running game.”
High school football teams can officially begin practicing on Monday and soon thereafter will be able to put on pads and start hitting and tackling. Once that begins the tone changes completely compared to the camp days in shorts and T-shirts, Schondelmyer said.
“It’s a different ballgame then,” he said. “Guys a lot of times will look real good in T-shirt and shorts and then you put pads on and they either become a different person or some of them transform and become a little tougher. Hopefully we’ve got some guys that will transform and become a little tougher because that’s the bottom line in the game. Physical team wins.”
Throughout the training camp practices this month Schondelmyer has seen progress from his team, and if the Trojans keep progressing he anticipates that they’ll be in a good position to succeed this fall.
“Camp is officially over for us, and we’ll obviously be starting up July 31 so we have a little bit of a break here over the weekend,” Schondelmyer said. “It’s much deserved. The kids have been working really hard the last three weeks so it will be nice for coaches and kids to enjoy it a little bit then come back July 31 on Monday and really start for about a three-week grind here.”