The sounds of football are resonating on the Owatonna High School football practice field as the varsity team holds its annual team camp this week.

Monday started with equipment hand out and an hour working on the offense, led by head coach Jeff Williams. During the second hour, defense took center stage. Defensive line coach Delles Sollie took players through the proper footwork to get off quickly on the snap count.

Defensive secondary coaches Steve Noasconi and Mark Clausen were instructing their charges on how to defense third or fourth down and short. One said, "Your heels are on the edge of a cliff. Don't back up." Linebacker coach and assistant head coach Marc Achterkirch told the linebackers to "play lower."

The team camp wraps up on Thursday, July 27. Williams says the Huskies went to a camp at South Dakota State a little over 10 years ago. Players liked the experience, but said they didn't want to go back. Owatonna began hosting a camp late in the summer the next year and has done so each year. Williams says it's a chance to get a jump start on official high school practice, which begins August 14, yet not get "beat up on" by keeping it all internal.

Owatonna's 7-on-7 team had a fantastic summer with a title at the Notre Dame passing camp and great performances in Minnesota events. The Huskies are the defending division and section champions and played at U.S. Bank Stadium in the state semifinals last November. The team returns co-Most Valuable Player Alex Raichle and Offensive Player of the Year Jason Williamson.

The Huskies open the season with back-to-back home games. Faribault plays at OHS September 1, followed by Rochester Mayo. Road games at Austin and John Marshall come next. The the Huskies are home with Mankato East and Rochester Century. The season ends with games at Northfield and New Prague.

Owatonna hosts their annual youth football camp August 7-10 for players entering third through 10 grades. It runs 5:30-8PM each evening at the OHS stadium field.

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