11 July 2012

Getting ready for some football

64 Tigers attended the Augustana College camp (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Fall football practice doesn't start for another 33 days, but coach Mark Froehling and his staff have been getting in some summer work with their 2012 team since early June.

One of the highlights was a trip the Augustana College team camp held June 24-26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

This is the first time the Tigers have attended the Augsutana camp. For the previous 11 summers Froehling took his team to a similar camp at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

"We changed for a couple of reasons," Froehling said. "Mankato West and Caledonia go to the Auggie camp and their coaches are former players of mine from when I coached at Caledonia....Augustana's coach is also a former teammate of assistant coach Jon Lund from their  playing days at St. Olaf College."

A record 64 players, half of them first-time attendees, and a full Tiger coaching staff took part in the camp that featured skill practices by position, team drills and scrimmages against other schools.

Farmington matched up with five South Dakota schools, including Brandon Valley, Sioux Falls Washington, Sioux Falls Lincoln, Sioux Falls Roosevelt and Sioux Falls O'Gorman.

Froehling said the competition was top notch and he felt his team competed well.

"We scrimmaged most of the big schools in South Dakota," he said. "The Sioux Falls schools have each won a state title in recent years and Washington is expected to be the favorite this year.

"We improved as the camp progressed. By the third day I thought the offense moved the ball well both running and throwing. The defense played well the entire camp and I thought our players were engaged and enthusiastic in their play."

The veteran Tiger coach said the camp gave him and his staff an opportunity to try some new things on both sides of the ball as well as check on the progress of individual athletes.

"Most importantly, the camp allowed our group of players to continue the process of developing into a true TEAM," Froehling said.

The Tigers continue practice this week and entertain Caledonia and Mankato West in in a scrimmage Thursday at Tiger Stadium.

The team will also compete in a seven-on-seven league in Eagan for three Sunday evenings starting July 15 in preparation for the start of fall practice on August 13.

Farmington opens its 2012 season Friday, August 31, when it hosts Rochester Mayo in a non-conference game at Tiger Stadium.

"We have more returning athletes with experience that we have had in the past three years," Froehling said. "We expect to be a good, competitive team."