Apparently, grueling summer workouts are growing in popularity.
The Moffat County High School football team will take more players, 53, on June 10 to 13 than ever before to the training camp at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.
Coach Kip Hafey said he hasn't seen so many youths come out for the camp during his 11 years as head coach.
"One year, we had between 20 and 25 kids come out for the camp," Hafey said. "This year, we're bringing double that."
Hafey said he won't just be looking for athletes to fill out his roster - he's more than happy to take someone who's willing to work.
"We'll keep everybody going to the camp," he said. "If you come out and work hard, we'll definitely keep you on the team.
"Everybody gets their piece of the pie. Some people are blessed with natural talent like speed or strength. Others aren't as gifted, so they have to work hard to get their piece."
The team has been having practice at the high school for the past week, and Hafey said he has liked what he's seen from his players.
"They've been working their tails off," he said. "And that's going to continue when they get up to Wyoming. They are going to be sore and tired after every day, but they're going to improve."
Hafey said the summer workouts also are geared toward making the team more cohesive.
"We've had a really well-rounded camp so far, and I don't think we've heard one complaint," he said. "It's the kids who are pushing themselves - I heard someone say 'I can trust a guy I worked out with,' so they're building camaraderie, too."
The summer training camp has become an annual rite for the Bulldogs, as the team has traveled to Wyoming for the last few years, Hafey said.
"They get to play inside, and they'll set up cool different abilities on offense and defense," Hafey said. "The players are also going to have a chance for some individual time with the Wyoming coaches."
The team will learn offensive and defensive plays, and compete in 11-on-11 and seven-on-seven games.
The camp also offers Hafey and the other coaches a chance to learn plays from the other coaches.
"A lot of these other coaches know our offense and defense, and they'll ask 'How do you run your play-action,'" Hafey said. "Obviously, we don't want to leak anything to schools in our division."
Last year, there were only three seniors on the team. This year, Hafey will depend on between 10 and 15 seniors to guide the squad.
"There's a great group of seniors who are going to lead us," Hafey said. "They've been working hard in the weight room and leading by example."
Having so many seniors on one team is rare, Hafey said.
"We'll have 10 to 15 seniors, which is awesome for a school our size," he said. "Typically, we'll have 40 kids total, spread out from freshmen to seniors."
And all of those players, from incoming freshmen to seasoned seniors, will have one thing on their minds.
"They'll live and breathe football for four days," Hafey said. "Take some punishment and come out stronger."
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.