Pam Pack preparing for camp|Will hold final Passing League game tonight

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sports Editor

On a sweltering summer evening, Washington’s football team was going through various drills during a two-day mini-camp. Pam Pack head coach Sport Sawyer said the team is looking to end the summer on a positive note.
“We’re just kind of finalizing the summer and seeing the people in different positions,” Sawyer said Monday evening. “We’re starting to actually put in some offense and some defense.”
Sawyer spent part of his evening with the backs. One huge loss the Pack will have to overcome is three-year starting quarterback Austin Thompson.
“Austin’s leadership and athletic ability is going to be tough to replace,” Sawyer said. “We have some guys, if they work hard, that can do some things at quarterback.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Chase Tripp was much like a quarterback. His leadership and physical presence will be missed.
“Personnel-wise, we’ll have a whole lot of changes,” defensive coordinater Jon Blank said. “We’ve got some guys possibly changing positions; we’ve got some guys who started for us last year that may not start this year.
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are battling for positions. We still have a lot of question marks. We’re looking for guys who want it the most. Hopefully, we’ll have that done before the first scrimmage.”
The coaches will learn a little more about the team during tonight’s Passing League game. Washington will play host to North Johnston (and possibly South Johnston) at 7 p.m. at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.
“We just want to make sure our guys know the correct plays and get them in the correct positions,” Sawyer said. “We have a lot of new people and we want to make sure they’re in the right areas.”
Blank said the coaches are looking at more than just offense and defense.
“The most important thing we’re looking for is mental toughness,” Blank said. “These guys want to play ball.”
Sawyer said the team will be also looking for some players to step up and be leaders this year.
“When you lose Austin, Chase, Gil (Broadway) and Justin (Meekins), who were leaders for four years, we’re trying to find identity through leadership,” Sawyer said. “The guys here been working pretty good.”
The first official practice of the season is Saturday.