Wildcats work for gridiron glory

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Gabe Kirk is one of 19 seniors retuning for the Cassville Wildcats this year. He and other seniors are being counted on to provide the needed leadership to become a champion. Chuck Nickle/Special to the Cassville Democrat

If you walk into to any barbershop, restaurant or place of business where Cassville residents tend to congregate, it is not long until the conversation shifts to Wildcat football.

Lance Parnell and his coaching staff know that champions are made in the offseason, and Parnell has already ascertained one key piece of information -- his team is ready to work.

"We had almost 80 players show up to our summer weight training," he said. "That makes me feel good, because I know that we'll have more as the summer progresses."

Parnell said he had some players on mission trips, some at Boys State and some at FFA camp.

"I think a school our size should always have around 90 players on the football team," Parnell said. "We have 19 seniors this year who are working their tail ends off to represent this team and community."

All the players were given the first three weeks after the end of the school year off before getting back into football mode.

Parnell added that he want his kids to enjoy some of their summer break before setting their minds to gridiron glory.

The team lifts weights through the end of this week and then starts camp on July 7, followed by an annual visit to William Jewell College for a team's camp.

Upon returning from William Jewell, there is a mandatory dead period before the fall practice season begins on Aug. 4.

"These summer workouts and camps are crucial for us to build team chemistry," Parnell said. "We have a lot of work still to do, but I think we have the players dedicated to getting it done."

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