BAKER — Baker School's varsity football team is focused on the upcoming season. The Gators — who returned to the practice field Monday after a holiday break — will continue their summer workout program this week at the school.


BAKER — Baker School's varsity football team is focused on the upcoming season.



The Gators — who returned to the practice field Monday after a holiday break — will continue their summer workout program this week at the school.



Next week, they'll head to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp at Blue Springs Conference Center in Marianna.



“That’s our beginning point of getting together (for the upcoming season),” Head Coach Matt Brunson said. “Not only do we get to work on football, but we have some team building and we lay a foundation for the important things in life.”



The Gators conclude summer workouts July 31.



'THEY'VE COME TO WORK'



The team ended a spirited workout on Monday pulling shopping carts for eight minutes beneath the searing sun.



Brunson reminded them the eight minutes was equal to just two-thirds of a 12-minute quarter of football.



“We’ve had a great summer,” Brunson said. “They’ve come to work. I don’t have anything but positive things to say.



“Baker kids know how to come out and work hard. We are going to go up tempo a little bit and we challenge our kids to have mental toughness and be responsible and do their job.”



NEW TECHNIQUES, NEW FACE



The Gator coaching staff has mixed things up this summer, using some cross training techniques to prepare the players to be able to play fast for 48 minutes if needed.



Players have bought into the new training routine and they have embraced it, Brunson said.



There will be at least one new face on Baker's sidelines this fall. Keith White, a longtime Brunson assistant at Vernon and Crestview, joins the Gator staff after spending the last two years at Walton.



“We have a great staff here at Baker, but having a coach like Coach White joining the staff makes us stronger,” Brunson said.



“He was with me at Vernon when we installed all the stuff we run defensively and we learned it together. So he will be an asset to program.”



Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at randyd@crestviewbulletin.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.