MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota State Mavericks Football team is working to improve the next generation of college prospects this week.
“We’re out here at MSU Team Camp, working on bonding as a team, growing closer, that’s lacked in the past couple years so we’re out here trying to get better as a team and putting in some work in the off–season,” Mankato East Cougars senior linebacker Kolin Baier said.
“Every year we have a team camp and we host teams that want to come here and get better and compete against other football teams. We’re represented by three states, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota so it’s different levels of football but we match them up with other teams that are comparable in size so that they’re not playing against someone that’s bigger or smaller than they are so it works out very well, it’s a very competitive environment and I know the players really enjoy it,” Todd Hoffner, Minnesota State University, Mankato football head coach, said.
During this team camp the high schools have an opportunity to learn from various coaches in order to improve.
“Well we want them to get better I think that’s the number one thing we tell our student athletes to get better every day and I think it’s important that the teams that are here obviously getting coached by their own coaches, that they’re learning their own plays and that they’re doing their own scheme and that they’re coming together a little bit tighter and building some team chemistry and some continuity and gaining some momentum going into the season in August,” Hoffner added.
“It’s great, multiple different coaching staffs you get to see, just help you get better and with the team being here it just helps get you better overall,” Baier stated.
The Maverick football players also get in on the coaching action.
“I think it’s a great teaching tool for them to understand what we go through as coaches and what we do on a daily basis whether it be officiating or teaching, which is something they were helping with as camp coaches. And then they also supervise and make sure these young men get across the street safely and staying out of trouble, and they stay in the dorms and so there’s a lot of little things behind the scenes that I think our student athletes do a lot and we’re much appreciative for all their efforts,” Hoffner continued.
By staying in the dorms and eating in the dining hall these young athletes get a taste of what they next step in their football journey might look like should they choose to continue the sport.
“It’s good because lots of us on this team are probably planning on playing college football so I think just getting that experience to see if that’s really what we want to do and it’s also good for the bonding part because normally we just have a team camp a week in the summer at our facilities at East but this really gives us time to bond and grow closer with teammates that we might not necessarily get to know as well,” Baier said.
At the end of the day the goal for these high school teams is to progress their game but each player has their favorite parts.
“Oh definitely the live, the king of the hill, any live situations, tackling, getting in there, getting some live contact before the season,” Baier said.
The camp will conclude Wednesday evening with an awards ceremony.