Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camp Kovak soaks in the scene at historic Wash High Stadium

The Wash High Prexies football team huddled just outside their locker room on the practice field at Wash High Stadium. As the players talked and chanted, coaches scurried about with a large, white water cooler.

About five minutes prior, Prexies head coach Mike Bosnic informed me that the coaching staff was planning to pelt players with water balloons before the start of Wednesday's third practice session.

That's where the water cooler came into play.

Displaying the stealth that they no doubt once showed during their playing days, coaches carried the cooler past unsuspecting players, opened it and unleashed an assault. At first, the Prexies scattered before a few players realized, "Hey, let's throw balloons back at them."

That's exactly the type of thing that can break up the monotony and exhaustion of training camp, not that the youthful Prexies seem to mind the hard work. Actually, that's been the catch phrase around Wash High Stadium.

"These guys have really taken to everything we've asked them to do," Washington head coach Mike Bosnic said. "We've structured this a lot like a college camp. Practice sessions, weight lifting, a lot of film study. They've responded well."

Top players: Joe Phillips, Jaylin Kelly
Phillips is wearing a walking boot on his right foot, the result of a stress fracture, but Bosnic expects the senior to be healthy for the regular season. Phillips is moving to fullback on offense, where he'll be a lead blocker for what could be a loaded Washington backfield. Phillips will be counted upon along the defensive line.
Kelly, a junior, is already considered one of the more promising prospects in the WPIAL Class of 2013. He's a punishing runner with a nose for the end zone, and one of the better linebackers around.

Watch out for: Josh Wise, Shai McKenzie
Wise enters his second year as starting quarterback, and he's emerging as Wash High's on-field leader. McKenzie, in limited opportunities as a freshman running back, averaged a first down on every touch.

Key position(s): Offensive line
The front five were exposed a year ago when Wash High played top-flight teams like South Fayette and Clairton. That unit must improve in order for the Prexies to contend for a home playoff game or a conference title.

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