After a grueling four-day camp in Laramie, Wyo., Kip Hafey, Moffat County High School football coach, said his team did exactly what it set out to do.
"We saw a lot of good things, but the most important goal when we go up there is to get better," Hafey said. "And the boys definitely got better."
The camp, which ended Saturday, was at the University of Wyoming's football facility. MCHS brought more than 50 players - its most ever.
Although there were no major surprises, one thing stuck out more than others, Hafey said.
"It was good to see how well the kids did because of their effort this fall in the weight room," he said. "Since Christmas, a large group of guys dedicated themselves to getting bigger, faster and stronger."
Hafey said he knows the team is going to be smaller in stature, but that it shouldn't slow down the Bulldogs.
"We're not a big team, but we definitely have some kids who've worked hard at pushing their abilities to the max," he said. "It's great to see - it's really paying off for them.
"Our boys did great against everybody. They really battled."
During the camp, Moffat County got a look at powerhouses Roosevelt High School and Conifer High School.
"We played against a team called the Renegades, which is a team full of players Wyoming is really looking at," Hafey said. "These are prospects, D-I kids, and we played them in a game of seven-on-seven.
"We played them really well. I think we only lost by one touchdown."
But, the positives didn't end with just the varsity squad or upperclassmen, Hafey said.
"The freshmen who came in had a fantastic camp," he said. "They hung in, and it's not easy for them. There was only one other freshmen team - they had to play against JV teams."
Of the more than 50 youths at the camp, Moffat County brought more than 20 freshmen to Laramie.
"It was the most ever, and it was awesome to see that kind of turnout," Hafey said. "We're always going to have small numbers, and with 30-less kids, we'd be a 2A school. We have to play schools like Palisade with more than 1,000 kids, so having that many freshmen come out is exciting."
Having to pick which side of the ball is further along at this point is difficult, Hafey said.
"The offense at times would just explode, and no one could stop them," he said. "Everything was clicking - fakes were working, we had great play action."
Because of the off-season workout regimens, the defense was just as advanced as the offense, Hafey said.
"The kids went out and were aggressive because they're confident in their abilities," he said. "Having their strength increase so much from last year gives you a lot more confidence - it makes you a more dominating player."
Although most of the positions are set for next year, there still are large portions of the depth chart still up for grabs, Hafey said.
"We have a good idea - there are still some spots that we have two or three guys fighting for," Hafey said. "We saw some kids step up, we saw some unexpected things and a lot of things we did expect."
Knowing the personnel for next year is important, Hafey said, because the system reflects the players.
"The kids know the system is built around them," he said. "We try to take their best attributes and build on them."
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org