Players from the Rolla High School football team probably slept very well on Saturday.
The Bulldogs had a LONG evening of full-contact action on Friday during the Sullivan Team Camp, held at Sullivan High School.
The event officially ended Rolla's off-season football activities. The Bulldogs again take the field for the start of the 2013 fall practice, from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 12.
RHS sent 56 players to the Sullivan Team Camp Friday and everyone got plenty of work.
The Bulldog varsity played eight sessions total against opponents Salem, University City, Blair Oaks, Sullivan and Northwest Cedar Hill while the RHS junior varsity got in three sessions, against Northwest, Sullivan and University City.
Each session had a live, 15-minute running clock.
Bulldog head coach Willie Howard said the RHS varsity offense got in 90 plays while the defense played 90-to-100.
"It was a very good end to three weeks of football camp," Howard said. "We got to see a lot of different looks. Sullivan and Northwest are double-wing offenses and fortunately we don't see that anymore."
One of the big questions for area high school football fans has been what the Salem Tigers will run this season after the retirement of Bill Schuchardt as head coach. For 32 years Schuchardt featured the wishbone offensive formation.
New Salem head coach Brian McNamee unveiled the spread offense with the Tigers on Friday – the polar opposite of the wishbone.
"Salem was in the shotgun on every play but one," said Howard, a former player under Schuchardt in Salem (also on the RHS coaching staff is Schuchardt's son, Joe). "They were all three or four wide receivers. And they ran their offense pretty well."
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' option offensive attack was on display and Howard was happy with the results.
"I was extremely pleased with our offensive line's performance," he said. "(Left tackle) Jor Jon Ellison tweaked his back during the first session and didn't return. Jay Atherton and Dakota Cartwright filled in nicely.
"Andy Satulla ran the ball kind of how we expected; he broke a lot of tackles and scored a couple of touchdowns. And Ben Maples ran the ball well and scored a touchdown against University City."
Howard said Ellison probably would have returned if it were a real game and reported no other RHS injuries from the night.
Rolla's quarterback competition was also on display between sophomore Kyle Morris and senior Joe Drallmeier. Those two combined to complete 9-of-20 passes on Friday.
The new-look Bulldog defense, with a new contingent of starting linebackers, will be a work in progress for a while.
Page 2 of 2 - "Defensively we started off kind of slow," Howard said. "But we picked up intensity. In the eighth session we were better than the first session, and it was good to see us get stronger as the night went on."
Howard was also pleased with his large group of younger players.
"The jayvee kids were really a bright spot," he said. "I would say they scored more touchdowns than they gave up. (Sophomore jayvee quarterback) Zack Brown threw four touchdown passes to (sophomore wideout) Keegan Chrisco."