Chanute High School football players have been preparing all summer for the 2020 season. And a few more have shown their devotion to the craft by going to various football camps over the summer.
Senior kicker Tyson Lucas attended the 2020 Kohl’s National Scholarship Camp on July 18 and 19 in Tennessee. Junior lineman Kolten LaCrone was one of three players, with Jackson Coombs and Garrett Almond, who went to the Sharpe Performance High School Football Showcase at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina on July 10.
Lucas, who split time with All-SEK kicker Jacob Adams last season, has gone to camps around the nation throughout the summer. His performances earned him an invite to the Kohl’s camp.
Competing amongst 779 student-athletes from around the nation, Lucas, overall, was 17-for-18 on field goals from 35 to 50 yards out – his longest field goal made at the camp was 53 yards – finishing just outside of the top 100 kickers. On kickoffs, Lucas charted three 64-yarders and several other 60-yarders.
Lucas also punted several for 40 yards in the camp, and he remained a four-star punter and kicker, as this was his status at the Kansas City showcase camp he attended in early June. Lucas said he has thought about his goal when it comes to kicking.
“For me, I just want to be the best I can be. I don’t really like to compare myself to others, I like to just go out and do what I can do,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to play college football. This year, the goal for high school would be All-SEK and All-State.”
Lucas has stayed with his routine since these camps. After seeing the structure and kicking drills in these showcases, Lucas often uses the same methods at the Chanute Community Sports Complex. His holder is CHS long snapper Garrin Golay.
Golay and Lucas, along with their Blue-Comet teammates, started weightlifting in early June. While joining in on the action with his teammates, Lucas was also working on punting with Golay. With the amount of work Lucas has done and will continue to do, Lucas said he is confident that when the Blue Comets move the ball within the 35-yard line, he will be able to boot the ball in.
Meanwhile, LaCrone, a junior offensive and defensive tackle as well as a defensive end, hasn’t harbored any doubts when it comes to his journey. Last season, the 6’4”, 215-pounder suffered a shoulder injury early on, which made the offensive lineman miss the first two games.
But he eventually came back in the Iola game, when he helped shut out the Mustangs – CHS dominated 42-0 over Iola. This impact helped LaCrone bump up to the starting defensive-end position.
He was a huge part of why the Blue Comets ended up all the way in the state sectionals versus Paola before ending the season with a 9-2 record. LaCrone’s work earned him All-SEK Honorable Mention as a defensive lineman.
But LaCrone wanted to get better. In early July, he went to the Sharpe Performance High School Football Showcase, where he ran his 40-yard time, as well as participated in the 20-yard shuttle and vertical testing. He ended up running a 4.86 40, a 4.49 in the pro agility, had a 27.9 vertical jump, and bench-pressed 185 pounds ten times.
“It was really trying to compare myself to other players in Kansas,” LaCrone said. “It was a nice experience. I was happy with my results. But if you are competitive, you always want to do better. It was fun. I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to attending more camps. ... It was really just to see where I was at in my performance, seeing how well I would perform, seeing where I would be, just base my progression off of that.”
LaCrone, like Lucas, is progressing in the first week of football practice this week. With his teammates, he is working on tackling and blocking drills while learning how to read offenses and defenses.
Both LaCrone and Lucas aren’t wet behind the ears when it comes to learning football schemes, however. They will use their experience to develop themselves as players in hopes of repeating the kind of season the Blue Comets had in 2019.