Competition was key at the Blair Quarterback Camp on Monday and Tuesday.
“We do a lot of competitions and we want the kids to compete because that's what we do on Friday nights,” Blair High School football coach Bryan Soukup said. “We want them to want to win, and try to create that hatred for losing as well.”
Thirty-three potential QBs — representing grades from elementary school through the halls of BHS — worked on their throws during the morning sessions on the practice field. They threw both for accuracy and distance during the course of the camp.
“It's an important position in the game, obviously,” Soukup said when asked why its important to have a position-specific event like Monday and Tuesday's. “It's just nice to develop multiple kids in the position instead of just waiting until they get to high school to see how everything pans out.”
The coach said he likes to have three-to-four kids in each grade to be capable passers. That way, if someone gets injured, there will be options for future Bears teams.
BHS' last two starting quarterbacks, Ethan Cox — a Nebraska defensive back — and Stewart Cemer — a Midland University recruit who signed last spring — are both on college rosters, but another former college standout stopped by the camp on Monday. Former Bear and South Dakota Coyote Colin Mertlik spoke to the group about football.
Still, competition was the key component of the camp.
“It's a true competition camp. We do a lot of stuff based on competition,” Soukup said. “I'm not a big fan of the whole participation society — 'everybody gets a trophy' — that's just not life. That's not how things are. You have to compete for jobs. You have to compete for everything as these kids get older.”
On Monday and Tuesday, the quarterbacks competed for trophies recognizing their status at the top of their grade. Barrett Brown was the top third-grade QB, while Brevin Leggott led the fourth-graders. Tucker Storjohann (fifth grade), Declan McCabe (sixth), Brock Templar (seventh), Bode Soukup (eighth) and Dex Larsen — BHS' starting running back — also earned top-billing for their efforts.
Soukup, McCabe, Larsen and Leggott have been multiple-time “Top Guns” at the camp.
Blair will hosts its youth football camp for all positions Aug. 1-2.