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Wildcats hope summer work pays dividends in fall

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Running back Austin Moore breaks free from a Prairie View defender thanks to a block from teammate Brayden White during Louisburg’s scrimmage with the Buffalos in June. 

 

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In his first season as the Louisburg High School head football coach, the 2017 campaign was a successful one for Robert Ebenstein.

Ebenstein helped guide the Wildcats to a 6-3 record on the season, and did so while implementing many different aspects to the Louisburg program. However, the one part that left a bad taste in the Wildcats’ mouth was the fact they missed the playoffs by one game.

Louisburg finished with a 1-2 record in district play and the Wildcats are hoping for a different outcome in 2018. To make sure that doesn’t happen again, the Wildcat coaches and players went right to work at the beginning of June and haven’t let up.

“To say our guys are pumped for the season to get here is an understatement,” Ebenstein said. “Returning eight starters on both sides of the ball, with a lot of kids pushing for those positions, has made for a very committed and competitive off season.  Being 6-3 last season and missing the playoffs has left us with a terrible feeling.

“We have some pretty high season goals and expectations, and our guys have been backing those goals with their weights attendance and efforts. With our high goals our guys have stayed grounded, and understand that right now we are just looking at beating Spring Hill on August 31.”

Louisburg head coach Robert Ebenstein talks to his team prior to a scrimmage last month.

The Wildcats do return several starters from last season as they try to make a run at a Frontier League title, which will have a little different look to it. Gone from the league is De Soto, and the Frontier will welcome three new teams in Piper, Tonganoxie and Bonner Springs.

Adding those extra teams will make winning the league even more difficult, but Ebenstein has liked what he has seen from his group so far this summer, especially in the weight room. Louisburg also had a pair of scrimmages to go along with their team camp.

“Like always were are putting our focus on our summer weights program,” Ebenstein said. “Our weights program is as tough as any other program in the state both physically and mentally. Besides weights, we had our camp, review sessions through June and two ‘jamboree’ sessions. Our first session was against Olathe West and Prairie View and our second session was against Basehor-Linwood and Prairie View.”

At this time a year ago, Ebenstein and the Wildcats spent most of the summer instituting a new offense. Now, they are able to take it a step further and the players have even taken in upon themselves to get better.

Louisburg senior Noah Larson reaches out to bring down an Olathe West runner during the team’s scrimmage in June.

Instead of organized 7-on-7 activities, players got together on their own every Sunday evening to go through workouts. The Wildcats also used the team camp to fine tune their offense as they had more than 60 athletes out for the week-long session.

“Overall the coaching staff thought that camp went really well,” Ebenstein said. “As a team we are far more advanced compared to where we were a year ago in our understanding of concepts and assignments.

“This year we already had the basic concept of the offense installed so we were able to go back and focus on the details. We were able to focus on technique that will allow us to be even better. Last year we were spinning mentally at times with terminology and concepts, this year being able to focus on the small things and perfect our steps, hand placement and timing will be very beneficial in the long run.”

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