Some summers can be mighty long for high school football coaches apprehensive about the competitive challenges for the upcoming season.
For Barnsdall High head grid skipper Kylee Sweeney, it’s just the opposite.
July can’t pass quickly enough for Sweeney, who welcomes back a power group of proven veterans and crowded roster for next fall’s eight-man battles.
Several Panthers have excelled in summer passing league competition, even against 11-man competition.
Meanwhile, Barnsdall players are working diligently to get stronger in the weightroom.
“We’re doing pretty good,” said Sweeney, who has guided Barnsdall to four playoff trips in the past six seasons. “Last Monday was our biggest day. We had over 40 kids, boys and girls.”
BArnsdall has participated in the Pawhuska passing league, against larger competition, which includes Caney Valley, Dewey, Perry, Pawhuska, Pawnee and Blackwell.
During the start of the first 7-on-7 session, Barnsdall threw an interception on the first play.
But, the Panther defense intercepted two passes.
During the second session, veteran Panther quarterback Maverick “The Spheroid Spear” Lanphear launched touchdown passes to Easton Malone and Braden Byars on the first two passes.
“I thought we did fairly well offensively on the second day,” Sweeney said. “We threw seven or eight touchdowns and Mav seemed pretty comfortable in the backfield.
Ronald Weber, Cooper Sofian and Byars served as the leading receivers.
These three players, along by Lanphear and Christian Hernandez also shone on defense.
Lanphear and Hernandez recorded multiple pass interceptions, Sweeney said.
James Johnson also looked good at corner, he added.
Barnsdall finished 5-5 last season, barely missing out on playoff qualification in its second year as an eight-man program.
The Panthers played 11-man football up through the 2019 season.
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: SUMMER SWEAT, SWEET AUTUMN: A look at Barnsdall offseason activities