Frontier football team held mini-camp this week

NEW MATAMORAS – With about a week and a half until two-a-day practices begin Aug. 4, Frontier’s football team is planning on using that time wisely.

The Cougars held their team mini-camp this week, focusing on conditioning and becoming familiar with the playbook. They will also have a learning camp next week, leading them into the official start of the preseason.

“If nothing else, we want to get them thinking ‘football,'” said Frontier head coach Todd Bradford.

“We just tried to use our 10 days to do some seven-on-sevens and take some days out of the week here just to get us ready for the tasks at hand come Aug. 4.”

Bradford said the team has walked through some formations out of the playbook just to have a head-start on it before going in to contact days.

“If you wait all the way through to Aug. 4 and do nothing up to that point, that’s way too late,” Bradford said. “We give them an opportunity at least to get some things done for their conditioning. But we’ve also got some formations in now. We’ve been able to walk through formations and our defensive set. That’s a plus to do those two things before Aug. 4. That’s just an added bonus.”

Add that in with the work that Frontier’s players did throughout the offseason and the Cougars appear to be on the right track for a successful 2014 season.

“I’ll tell you what, they worked really hard this offseason so I’m really proud of them,” Bradford said. “We’ll find out a little more as we go. Hopefully as our scrimmages roll around and hopefully as our first game rolls around we’ll see what we’re made of.”

After a winless 2011 campaign, Frontier took a big step forward by going 4-6 in 2012. The Cougars were hoping for another step forward last year, a winning record and possibly a playoff appearance, but unfortunately went 4-6 again. The hunger for that next step is still there, and they’re hoping to get over the hump this fall.

At one point during Thursday’s camp, Bradford pointed out the lone Pioneer Valley Conference championship banner from 2004 on the side of the team’s locker room as motivation. “I think we have some young men who understand what it’s gonna take to be able to get to that next level,” Bradford said. “We’ve done OK, but it’s just OK. And that’s the thing. We realized what had to be done in the offseason and I think we accomplished that. Now we’re gonna have to see what happens here come practices and scrimmages and see if that translates. That’s gonna be a key element. We’ve made progress, but have we made the right progress? I think that we’re there. I think we’re on the right track. We’ll see what happens as we roll into the weeks of August.”

Frontier will open up the regular season Aug. 29 on the road against Shenandoah.