Football gearing up for big offseason
Lebanon junior Cannon York is pictured during a recent campus visit to Indiana State, located in Terre Haute, Ind.
After attending the University of Missouri team camp in June for the past several years, the Lebanon High School football team is switching gears and attending Northwest Missouri Team Camp this summer.
Head coach Will Christian said the decision was made easy when the University of Missouri put a halt to its over night stays on campus, instead turning its team camp into a commuter camp — meaning teams could play, but not stay on campus, requiring overnight stay in local hotels, or driving back and forth from home each day.
“There’s no dorms or meals and it takes away a huge portion of what we are trying to do at a team camp,” Christian said. “We want to get the kids away from home, stay together, eat together and I want the kids to experience college life a little bit. Even though they are not going to classes, they are in a dorm away from mom and dad and it’s different.
“We could not accomplish those goals anymore by going to MU. We looked at several different options and Northwest Missouri was the one that I thought was the next-best option.”
There are 17 schools in the session in which LHS will compete and will come from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas City, St. Louis and elsewhere.
“It will be fun to play teams from other states,” Christian said. “There are going to be a lot of quality opponents, so we are still going to get that and we are still going to be able to accomplish our goal of strong team bonding.”
Christian says Lebanon hasn’t had much contact over the years with Northwest Missouri, an NCAA Division II school located in Maryville, north of Kansas City.
“They’ve really never recruited us and we have definitely had some players that could have played there,” Christian said. “I think going to that camp is going to open some doors for some of our kids down the road.”
In the meantime, Christian says the team is focused on competing in the weight room under the tutelage of Garrett Wade, who is serving as the program’s strength coach.
“I think he has done a tremendous job in his first year of working our kids hard,” Christian said. “I think our kids have been phenomenal. They did great in both the power meets we have attended and they are breaking records and getting PRs constantly.
“I feel very good about the strength program this year.”
The summer workouts will focus mainly on conditioning. Lebanon will compete in 7-on-7 on Monday’s in Willard, will compete at the Ozark Conference 7-on-7, then hold its own team camp in July before opening practice in August.
Lebanon 2018 tight end Cannon York is drawing attention from a host of college programs as he travels to numerous camps, combines and campus visits. He has attended several junior days in which college programs invite prospects to tour that campus and football facilities.
A 6-foot-4, 235-pound tight end, York currently hold an offer from Southeastern (Okla.), an NCAA Division II school, which Christian says extended the offer after watching video.