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High School Sports

High School Sports

Coach likes Firebirds’ looks

Bob Lisher says FSHS football bigger, stronger, faster

Free State High football coach Bob Lisher watches over a drill on Thursday, June 7, 2012, the day before the Lions were to leave for three days of contact camp at Northwest Missouri State.

Free State High football coach Bob Lisher watches over a drill on Thursday, June 7, 2012, the day before the Lions were to leave for three days of contact camp at Northwest Missouri State.

June 10, 2012

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When Free State High football coach Bob Lisher scanned the field at the Firebirds’ varsity camp this week, he noticed three common characteristics among his returning players.

They were bigger. They were stronger. And they were more comfortable on the field.

All were highly positive signs for FSHS as it prepped for its three-day weekend trip to Northwest Missouri State University, in Maryville, Mo., for a team camp.

Lisher said the experienced Firebirds played a bit faster than they did last fall.

“When you do that,” the coach said, “you’re a better football player.”

Free State’s core of returning varsity players includes six who received All-Sunflower League honors of one form or another: defensive back and quarterback Kyle McFarland, lineman Cody Stanclift, defensive back Joe Dineen, receiver Tye Hughes and linebackers Corban Schmidt and Blake Winslow.

Joining those players in more prominent roles, Lisher said, have been running back TJ Cobbs, linemen Reid Buckingham, Tyler Sampson and Fred Wyatt, receivers Sam Hearnen and Chris Heller and linebacker Keith Loneker.

Lisher liked the quick pace his veteran players established at camp due to their familiarity with the play-calling. Monday through Thursday served as a review for the many rising seniors and juniors who played on Friday nights last season.

“It’s like our spring football,” Lisher said of the four-day on-campus camp, noting the goals were to stay healthy and improve as a team.

Dineen said there were many positive signs at camp. Primarily, Free State’s experience showed.

“We look like we understand what we’re doing, the concepts of the plays and stuff,” Dineen said.

The idea of a bigger, stronger, more-confident bunch of Firebirds, McFarland added, is evident at all positions.

“We had kind of a small line last year, and now the players we have are a lot bigger,” McFarland said, noting Stanclift, Wyatt and others have led that group.

Lisher said Cobbs never missed a day of offseason strength or speed workouts and that was paying dividends for the senior.

Cobbs remained eager to show off his hard work at a more critical time.

“It’s good if you can lift a lot of weights,” he said, “but if you can’t perform well on the field on game night, it doesn’t really matter.”

For the underclassmen who haven’t experienced Friday-night pressure, Cobbs said camp week showed them how hard they will have to work to get on the field. Schmidt agreed and said the veterans told their young teammates they would have to jump in as often as possible during drills if they wanted to improve.

“They just have to pay attention for the most part,” Schmidt said. “The sooner you learn the plays, the more it just comes together with repetition.”

After going 6-3 in 2011 and having so many leaders back and playing at a higher level, Lisher said the next step is building upon the team’s offseason improvements this summer and carrying those over into the fall.

“If we do,” he said, “we’ll have a chance to be a decent, competitive football team.”

Team camp for FSHS at Northwest Missouri State began Friday and will continue through today.

Comments

boxers_or_briefs 1 year, 10 months ago

Smack talk about two average high school football teams??? Wow! Let the kids be kids.

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Vaildini 1 year, 10 months ago

Now before you get all excited when taking about it starting I am meaning for LHS football and not Dirk specifically. I do realize Wedd wasn't the coach there when it started. I'm talking about Dog Days being started for LHS football and being a longtime tradition for LHS football players. That should make it easy to follow.

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Vaildini 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes does Coach Wedd use Dog Days, that's where it started. YES! Thats where it started. Red started it for LHS football players. Go talk to the man himself. haha

We will try this 1 more time for the slow, "If it were such a hardship for these 16 and 17 year-olds to put in a little effort " So my question is what are they if they are not putting in this effort you speak of. And I hope TJ starts and does well too. It is his senior year and though many start before that it would be nice for this to pay off for him.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 1 year, 10 months ago

If you are referrring to this summer and last summer, you are correct. The last two summers the team has not been required to participate. I've got no personal issues with anyone but I do take offense to anyone feeling entitled to anything.

"Does Coach Wedd use Dog Days? That's where it started." My reading skills are sharper than yours. Yes, I know it is a little bit of a stretch and that you have a better grasp of Dog Days history than DeckDoctor, but this is less of a stretch than your third point.

Finally, you highlighted it yourself, but show me again where I am calling them slackers or lazy again please? I'm simply pointing out an athlete I have witnessed working harder than his teammates and that if it were a hardship for them then it the coach would bar them from attending. This is still an option to them though and at least one player is still taking advantage of this option and working harder, I will agree with you on your very last sentence though, because like Tibbs I've seen this kid working his rear-end off at LAC while the high school lifting program was in hiatus. I hope TJ starts and has an excellent season.

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Vaildini 1 year, 10 months ago

1st Maria the Free State players haven't done Dog Days for the last 2 summers which means most of these guys on this team haven't done or were underclassman so you must have a "personal issue" with the kids who have been told they are it since 4th grade.

2nd I didnt say Coach Wedd started Dog Days. Read above and sharpen your own reading comp. No need to call your English teacher for help, I'm here for you.

3rd you said "If it were such a hardship for these 16 and 17 year-olds to put in a little effort that would serve as a nice warm-up for their football activities Lisher would have pulled the plug years ago. He'd also keep the kids from attending now, but TJ Cobbs is still there every day putting forth the effort." Your saying they are not putting forth effort like T.J. read it's right there. So thanks for helping me with MY ignorance. haha good stuff. continue to grind your axe. It is obvious you know nothing about this besides what the Red Dog clan says about kids who do extra work over the summer to get a bit better at there sport. Which is exactly why Free State left and why LHS never stayed. You can't get ready to play ball training next to a women pushing a stroller. Hopefully this will all work for TJ and he can start his whole senior season.

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Vaildini 1 year, 10 months ago

1st Maria the Free State senior class from last year havent been told they were the greatest since they were 4th graders. They have always been a small class? 2nd, Dog Days has always been a great community program for the general population and was made by Red Dog back in the day so football players could maintain so they wouldn't get hurt when workouts started. Nowadays, players try to get better in the summer not just maintain. Does Coach Wedd use Dog Days? That's where it started. So is Brad Strauss a slacker because he doesn't do Dog Days. Of course not. Your right TJ is a good kid and will have a great chance to step up and be a leader. Lets see how it works out. But to say those kids don't work hard is laughable. It just shows your ignorance.

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MISTERTibbs 1 year, 10 months ago

It would appear that Maria has struck a nerve with the old DeckDoctor. He/she didn't say anything about the last 13 years, he said LAST year. Maybe DeckDoctor is the one that should learn how to read.

DeckDoctor, you are correct about learning, and improving and earning more playing time. From what I've seen of TJ at the gym he is doing just that (conditioning wise anyway). You do fail to realize though that a young person's confidence in their abilities can help them solidify their roles as leaders of the team, but if their work ethic doesn't match their confidence it can often have the wrong effect on the work of the rest of the team. If you've ever coached at all, even at the pee-wee level, you'd realize that there are some that will at least attempt to lead (no always by example) and I believe I'd like someone like TJ or the Stanclift kid be leading if my kids were still playing.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 1 year, 10 months ago

So, did those workouts just start a couple of years ago then? No, it is just this group that has been told since they were 4th graders or younger that they were it. Instead of proving it and being leaders, they chose to believe what they had been told and think they were entitled to the admiration of those folks with whom they were gracing their presence. If it were such a hardship for these 16 and 17 year-olds to put in a little effort that would serve as a nice warm-up for their football activities Lisher would have pulled the plug years ago. He'd also keep the kids from attending now, but TJ Cobbs is still there every day putting forth the effort.

As for the better team winning last year, I agree. The better TEAM on that night won the game. They came out, busted Lisher's boys in the mouth, and didn't ever give them a chance to recover. If anything, both schools overachieved last year. The Lions took advantage of a better game plan and an overconfident opponent, and once they had that opponent reeling they didn't let up. That's the sign of a well prepared team. Something many on here would never admit about Dirk.

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Vaildini 1 year, 10 months ago

I think there coach stopped sending them to Dog Days because like LHS they do there own football workouts each morning. The coach was sending them to a certain amount of Dog Days each summer to keep the young men connected to the community. During those workouts, grown men and women thought they should question the effort of kids who were often there along with a football, baseball , and basketball workout. Once the adults made it into something it didnt need to be the coach made a good call. As for the butt kicking, if you went to the game you saw the better team win. The Free State team over achieved last year and it was interesting that they were ever favored to win that game. LHS was a very good team and with Big Tyrone running that Offense at QB, that might have put us in a better position to win that game. It was a better match up against that D. Great day to be a Lion.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 1 year, 10 months ago

And none of that will make any difference if their attitude doesn't change.

Lish stopped sending the kids to Dog Days last year because of the complaints he received about their lack of effort the previous year.

Hopefully the butt-kicking Lawrence High gave them last season when they thought they had the game and the district title in the bag just by showing up will be enough to wake up both the players and the coaching staff.

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