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Monticello football travels to Duluth for preseason scrimmages

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For the ninth year in a row, the Monticello Football team took part in the University of Minnesota-Duluth football training camp fromJune 24 through June 26. for.

The Monticello football team took a coach bus to the Duluth campus and checked in to the camp at 12:30 p.m. on Monday and started practice around 1:45 p.m. The first day of camp (Monday) went until 9 p.m., Tuesday was 8:45 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Wednesday was 8:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

The hours seem long, but the coaches like to put more hours into a three day camp verses a week long camp with shorter hours.

Each day of practice the players and coaches were provided with lunch in the Duluth campus dining facility.

Jason Telecky, the Monticello football head coach, said all of the athletes took a liking to the food because it was all-you-can-eat buffet style.

Not only does the university feed the team year after year, but it also provides each player and coach with a bed to sleep in. The team is assigned a dorm and a camp counselor that leads them to meals and practices on time. So, even when the coaches are in meetings, the players know exactly where to go and when to go there.

Coach Telecky said he loves the camp for a lot of reasons, but a big reason is because of its flexibility. A lot of the Monticello football players are also baseball players, so he likes to work around their schedules.

“The timing of the football camp works best for us when we try to work around the players summer baseball schedule,” he said. “Plus I have always been very impressed with the organization of their camp and their coaches have been incredibly accommodating to us. They even arrange a classroom for us to watch film in, which is not a part of the camp schedule.”

There’s no specific invite process for the camp, and players are expected to register individually online, but the Monticello team has always been asked to come back.

Telecky said because of his rapport with the Duluth coaching staff, he is generally allowed to pick the Monticello’s scrimmage opponents and he can adjust the schedule slightly to meet specific needs.

While at the camp Monticello scrimmaged against Eastview, Stevens Point Area Public School District (SPASH), Superior, South St. Paul and Byron.

When the team wasn’t scrimmaging, players worked on installing their core offenses and defenses, and the Duluth coaches taught position-specific techniques.

The camp is offered to all rising sophomores through seniors. Occasionally Monticello sends some freshmen.

Corey Flesch, previous Monticello football captain and Duluth football captain, helped coach the Monticello offensive line during the three day camp.

Telecky thinks the camp equips his players for the season in many different ways.

“The camp offers our guys a good team bonding experience, the opportunity to see how they measure up to some outside competition, shows them what they’ll need to work on for the upcoming season and it offers exposure to our players to college coaches who may potentially want to recruit them,” he said.

As for the upcoming season, Telecky said he wants to go into it with one motto in mind, “In order to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

One obstacle the Monticello football team anticipates this upcoming season is the fact that they will face a lot of bigger schools.

“That makes this a challenging schedule, but in the last five years we have beat every team at least once that is on our schedule, so although it’s challenging, it is very doable,” Telecky said. “With the schedule we have we will have to do everything we can to prepare some of our younger guys to be ready to go in, in case of injuries.”

Reach Jessie Meyen at jessie.meyen@ecm-inc.com

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