Farquhar, St. Charles East football get oriented
New St. Charles East football coach Bryce Farquhar summed up the first couple weeks of the Saints' summer camp as "just kind of an install process."
Farquhar doesn't have his full coaching staff assembled yet but the Saints – like other teams throughout the area – are chewing through the first chunk of their summer camp days, with about two months to go before the 2014 season kicks off.
Farquhar was East's sophomore coach under former Saints coach Mike Fields. He said there will be some substantial scheme changes that players must acclimate to this summer.
"Some of the things will look the same but they're not really the same," Farquhar said of East's offense. "Your casual viewer will see it as, yeah, it's a spread offense."
East will participate in its first 7-on-7 of the summer July 8 at Aurora University. The Saints are slated to participate in a team camp at Western Illinois University in late July.
The Saints graduated two-year starting quarterback Jimmy Mitchell, so identifying Mitchell's successor is part of Farquhar's summer to-do list.
Chad Bowen, the QB for East's sophomore team as a freshman and sophomore, is part of a crowded competition.
"I think we've got five kids trying out for quarterback this year so as we get into the month of July and start doing our 7-on-7s, that's really going to determine how we separate our kids," Farquhar said. "The sooner we can make some decisions, the sooner we can get more reps for the kids who are going to be up for that starting position."
More regime change: Aurora Christian also is breaking in a new head coach, like at East, an internal hire.
Dave Beebe – longtime defensive coordinator under his brother, former Eagles head coach Don Beebe – switched spots with Don, who will now assist Dave Beebe as the Eagles' offensive coordinator. Dave Beebe said the transition "couldn't be much smoother" given his longstanding ties to the program.
The Eagles' heavy graduation losses from last year present more of a challenge.
"We just have a lot of kids that need playing time," Dave Beebe said. "We have a lot of kids that I think have a lot of upside, they just haven't played very much."
Dave Beebe anticipates steady improvement as the season moves along.
"I think that more than normal, you'll see bigger gaps of quality of play from week 1 to week 9," Beebe said.
Red Grange on tap: The Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 tournament, hosted by Wheaton Warrenville South and Naperville North, is set for Thursday and Friday, with defending IHSA Class 6A state champion Batavia and St. Charles North again part of the tournament field.
The Red Grange Classic features four pools of eight teams. North will open with host Wheaton Warrenville South at 9 a.m. Thursday in Pool A. Maine South, Oswego East, Lake Park, Neuqua Valley, Niles West and Glenbard South are the other Pool A competitors.
Batavia's opener in Pool C will come at 9 a.m. Thursday against host Naperville North. Glenbard North, Lincoln-Way East, Prospect, Waubonsie Valley, Lockport and Downers Grove South also are part of the pool.