In the midst of the summer heat, pads were popping and football was in the air at Wildcat Stadium on Monday. The Watson Chapel Wildcats hosted their annual team camp, and this year five teams participated.
Along with Watson Chapel were Maumelle, Monticello, Little Rock Parkview and Bryant. Wildcat Head Coach Jared Dutton ran the camp, and he feels it was a success.
"I thought the day went very well, and there was a lot of good competition," Dutton said. "Everybody got a lot of reps and nobody got banged up too bad. All the coaches were complementary on the format. All my staff did a great job helping, and it takes a lot of hands to have a successful camp. It was all hands on deck, and I feel we did a great job."
One couldn't help but notice how intense the camp was as each team attempted to look better than the other. Although there wasn't an official score taken, the teams took advantage of their snaps. With the temperatures at record highs for the year, it wasn't hard to get under the skin of an opponent.
"It was really good all the way around," Dutton said. "That's what you want in a good team camp. You want it to be as close to Friday night as you can get it. We want to teach kids to compete. You have to learn that, it's not something that you just have. Anytime it gets hot out there it’s easy for a temper to flare, but it wasn't nothing out of the ordinary. I don't think it could've gone any better."
As far as the Wildcats, there were a few individual players to take note of. Returning senior quarterback Jakobi Jackson was in action for the Wildcats on Monday.
Along with Jackson, Devin Curry got snaps at quarterback, and both recorded a passing touchdown.
Senior Collin Branch was all over the field for the Wildcats. According to Dutton, Branch will have to get used to it, because that's how it'll be when fall rolls around.
"Our QB situation is wide open, from Devin Curry to Kevin Compton, to Jakobi Jackson," Dutton said. "They all are taking it full on, and they're all working. They understand it's a competition and things are looking good there."
"Branch is going to play on both sides of the ball," Dutton said. "He's done a good job at defensive tackle, he's lined up in our H-back/Tight end spot, and he's rotated on the offensive line. It's always good to have kids like that and we'll have a few spend time on both sides."
Prior to the camp, Dutton referenced that they were looking to build depth. The camp gave them a prime opportunity at just that, as they were able to see all of their guys go against a different team.
"I believe everybody on our team got a good hand full of reps," Dutton said. "We had kids in there who were in some places they may not be on Friday nights, but we were looking at versatility. That's why you work all summer to see who can do what in the fall. We were able to get film on our guys against another team. We'll go back and study it, and I'm pleased with the competition that I saw."
Fall practice officially begins on July 31 for the Wildcats.