Most people don’t care to spend their summer thinking about the fall. Summer is short enough as it is.
Football coaches are an exception.
So, Magic coach Jason Telecky was naturally thrilled that the end of the school year gave him an opportunity to peek ahead to the fall.
Monti spent the first eight days following the last day of school playing football, including spending June 13 – 16 at North Dakota State University’s team camp.
Telecky finished the two week stretch feeling excited for this fall.
“I’m pretty optimistic,” he said. “I think this year will be pretty fun.”
Monticello has been going to team camps for many years now. The program used to travel to NDSU, before switching to the University of Minnesota-Duluth camp the last few years. After a couple of bad weather years at UMD, the players voted to go back to NDSU this summer.
“I think the kids thought going somewhere different might change their luck,” said Telecky.
They still got rained on Saturday, but other than that it was a very good experience according to the Monti coach.
Monticello took 48 players, the maximum they could travel with, to the camp, and they all got a good amount of work in.
Over the course of the camp, the Magic participated in one individual practice session with the NDSU coaches, they went through a testing period, they had their own practice time and they played a total of eight scrimmages.
Telecky said the highlight of the weekend was getting to see some different competition.
“The scrimmaging is the most beneficial,” he said.
One way the Magic really took advantage of the scrimmage time was by competing two separate varsity teams, allowing every kid that traveled to Fargo to see a lot of the field.
“We got the chance to see a lot of different kids in a lot of different positions,” said Telecky.
They also saw some strong competition. Schools such as Willmar, Cambridge-Isanti and St. Francis all attended the camp.
Overall, Telecky felt like his team stacked up well. He was especially impressed with his offensive line, which doesn’t come as a big surprise.
The Magic return five starters from last year, plus they will add Connor Olson to the mix, and Telecky said he has the potential to be the best of them all. The junior has shot up to 6’6” and 260 pounds since the end of last season, and has already impressed at places like the University of Minnesota individual camp.
“He’s going to be a good one,” said Telecky.
While the Magic certainly look for individuals, like Olson, to play well and do their jobs during scrimmages, the Monti coach said they don’t worry too much about winning the scrimmages.
“We stayed very vanilla, we just played straight up defense,” said Telecky. “It doesn’t matter if you win a scrimmage, it doesn’t help you on Friday night.”
The Magic also don’t deviate from their substitution plans, keeping playing time even no matter how the scrimmage goes.
Not only do the players appreciate that, but it likely helps them develop depth that will help them on Friday nights.
“This is as strong and as fast as we’ve ever been,” said Telecky, who added that it’s probably the fourth consecutive year he’s felt that way.
“The kids work their butts off, and it showed up there,” he said.
Certainly, Monticello, like every team, still has work to do. And so maybe the best thing about the NDSU camp isn’t the work that Monticello gets over those four days, rather it’s the things they learn that they can now spend two months working on.
“It gives us a blueprint of what we need to do the rest of the offseason,” said Telecky.
According to the Minnesota State High School League, the Magic can officially resume conditioning practice on Monday, Aug. 11. Monticello is scheduled to start their season on Thursday, Aug. 28, with a home game against Princeton.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at email@example.com