Butler County high school football: What we learned on the second day of practice

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette

Once again, weather was a factor in the start of high school football practice. While Augusta found themselves starting outside and finishing inside, Bluestem never saw the field. While Flinthills enjoyed the sun and the grass. 

We were able to make all three schools we wanted to observe on Tuesday as Day 2 kicked off. 

We'll venture to Remington, Douglass, Andover and Andover Central on Wednesday to finish the county.

Here's what we learned from the second day of the 2021 season:

Flinthills is looking for an attitude adjustment

The last few years haven't been so pretty for the Flinthills Mustangs. They have only won four games over the last three seasons and are looking to improve upon last season's ending, where they beat Udall and gave Yates Center a fight. 

"We held a three-day football camp lock-in," First-year head coach Chase Casteel said. "16 boys showed up for the lock-in and all 16 showed back up on Day 1."

Getting the kids to buy-in after all of the last few seasons seems easier said than done but at practice, players were eagerly listening and learning from their new head coach, who has been around the program for the previous five seasons.

"We haven't seen this type of commitment in a long time," Casteel said. "I'd say we're already on our way to change that culture."

Flinthills opens the season on Friday, Sept. 3 at Cedar Vale-Dexter. 

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Bluestem installing fun offense

Last season, the Bluestem Lions ran the ball a lot through their flex offense and it wasn't the best outcome for their season. That's where the 2021 season comes into play and third year head coach Ethan Haworth is adjusting to his personnel by installing a more pro-style offense. 

"We should be able to throw the ball a little bit better," Haworth said. "We'll be able to put guys in better better positions with route combinations."

The running game will still be there as senior Landen Wilson will see a bulk of the carries. He is an athletic senior who was an honorable mention all-state defensive back as as sophomore. He's turning into that senior leader you want.

"In the offseason doing the things I need him to do," Haworth said. "He's really just taking on that role as a vocal leader." 

After an 0-9 season, the players understand hard work is needed and Haworth has had to turn guys away and force them to rest. 

"They're just going above and beyond," Haworth said. "it got to the point where they were asking me coach can we practice and I had to actually turn them down on one instance, just because of the fact that my job."

They'll need that hard work as they open the season at Humboldt in a little over two weeks.

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Orioles learning discipline

Since Augusta couldn't really finish their practice outside, they spent the end of practice running suicide type drills in the gymnasium, building some discipline by having to re-run some sprints if someone lets up too soon or doesn't get off the line correctly.

"Discipline is a large focus of ours," seventh-year head coach Jason Filbeck said. "If we can't be disciplined, it's gonna be a hard year."

Maybe some of the struggles in Day 2 of practice could be being cooped up in a gymnasium when you want to run outside but the Orioles aren't making that excuse.

"In the end it doesn't matter, we might have to practice inside for two weeks straight," Filbeck said. "We still have to play comfortable Week 1. So, we're going to be ready to play."

Augusta is set to scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. in their first real contact of the season. Then, they'll play at Coffeyville-Field Kindley on Friday, Sept. 3.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.