MINOOKA — Given that their head coach runs the school’s strength and conditioning program, the Minooka Indians are ending their summer football activities in an appropriate way.
The Indians were set to hold the final session of their weightlifting camp this morning. Paul Forsythe, who is about to enter his second season as head coach of the Indians, starting holding the camp when he was an assistant to Bert Kooi. This is the camp’s 12th year.
“Obviously there are a lot of positives from doing this. We have a lot of big strong kids, but then so does everyone else,” Forsythe said after Tuesday’s weightlifting session ended. “No. 1, we’re in here together, we’re working together, we’re sweating together. Obviously we’re doing this to build strength, but the bonding aspects of it are another benefit for us.”
The camp was the conclusion of an Indians summer that included 7-on-7 passing competitions at the University of St. Francis, Joliet West and Oswego East, as well as their own football camp.
One activity the Indians usually attend is the Bolingbrook Lineman Challenge. Forsythe says he made the decision to pull the Indians out of this year’s event, held on July 17, because the Indians held their own camp the same week, and due to the intense heat that blanketed the area at the time.
“I think it went well. We had a solid camp and have gotten some good lifting in this week. It went well,” lineman Mark Geers said of the summer. “(The lifting camp) is good for us. Any time we can spend together can only make us better.”
According to some Indians, the time spent together this summer is already having a noticeable effect.
“We’re closer than some of the teams in the past,” senior defensive back Nate Kijowski said. “Last year, being juniors, we weren’t as close to the seniors as we’ve tried to be with the juniors we have now. ... We’re meshing better.
“It’s something we’ve had conversations about, being seniors. One of our goals is to get the juniors on the same page as we are.”
Senior quarterback Shane Briscoe says the Indians end the summer in a good state in terms of team unity.
“Everyone is on the same page. I think we’ll be fine,” Briscoe said. “I was happy with our camp, and how we did at all the college games. They’ve helped us get ready for the start of the regular season.”
After today, organized team activities are over for Minooka until the official start of practice on Aug. 14. On Tuesday, Forsythe was asked if he is happy with the summer the Indians have completed.
“I am, as far as the work we’ve gotten in and what we accomplished in camps,” Forsythe said. “As far as that goes, yeah. It’s a good place to be in, as far as being ready to hit the ground running on the 14th.”