Football fans who can't wait until the fall can get a fix and catch a glimpse of the future as the Oak Harbor spring camp continues 2:45-5 p.m. each day next week at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.
Head coach Jay Turner said 105 students are participating this spring, down a few from last year. He's not alarmed by the drop because the 2012 numbers were inflated by a large senior class. The Wildcats lost 40 to graduation, about twice the normal rate.
Turner said, "We graduated quite a few of our starters from last year's team so we are doing a lot of learning during these first two weeks of spring ball. The kids are working hard and have great attitudes."
He added, "The kids are getting better every day."
The spring camp allows the staff to introduce a majority of the offense and defense at a slower pace than in the fall, Turner said.
"Since we are not game planning or worrying about the next opponent, we can concentrate on execution, fundamentals and teaching," he said.
The goal of the spring, Turner said, is to improve everyday and have "most of the teaching done" when the camp concludes.
Spring is also a time for player evaluations, Turner said.
"Some kids work very hard during the off season to get bigger and faster," Turner said. "Spring ball is the time for them to show how much they have improved and if they are ready to contribute on Friday nights."
The staff video tapes each session to further evaluate the players.
He added, "Not only are we evaluating for our depth chart, but we are also looking for players who may be in the wrong position."
Turner said that spring ball is "my favorite time of the year," adding, "I love seeing the new and improved players. I also enjoy the teaching aspect of spring ball. It's fun to see the guys come together in a short, three-week period."
The Wildcats are in the midst of a large turnover in players, but Turner's coaching staff is undergoing only minor changes. Tom Mueller is back coaching the varsity linebackers after several years as the freshman coach. Brian Jones has been added to the freshman staff.
Oak Harbor makes its annual trek to Wenatchee for team camp July 21-25.