Roughly 50 area seventh- and eighth-graders attended the three-day football camp at Maryville Middle School this week.
Feelings of anticipation for the upcoming season were quickly sent to the back burner, though, due the necessity of focus.
Maryville High School Head Football Coach Matt Webb said that he treats the middle school camp very similar to how he leads his team.
"We focus on fundamentals, I believe that fundamentals win football games," Webb said. "I've always thought that in coaching, you can never be too good at fundamentals."
On both sides of the ball, attendees at the camp learned the basics, time after time. Repetition builds muscle memory.
Muscle memory and repetition have a tendency to spell success on the field.
Success on the field is something Webb is familiar with.
His first season at the helm of the Spoofhounds last year ended with a perfect 15-0 season and a Missouri Class 3 state championship.
But don't remind him of that.
"'Repeat' is a four-letter word in our locker room," Webb said. "Win the day. That's what we say, that's a blueprint for success."
And still, this week is not at all about last year's high school team.
It's about the youngsters that are at camp, sweating through the muggy - yet slightly cooler than normal - July evenings.
Though not all of the campers will end up playing under Webb, the coach and all of the people helping him out still maintain the focus.
"This camp is awesome," Webb said. "This is a community that all feeds into one high school. Not all of these kids will, but we still try to feed into one attitude and to establish a winning tradition."
As with almost all teams sports, pre-season expectations are high.
Players look promising as they work hard to earn their spot on the field.
But as Webb said, nothing would happen without first learning the fundamentals.
Webb and several others are hosting a youth camp on Wednesday, July 31.
The camp is for second-graders through eighth-graders and will begin at 4:30 p.m.
Anyone wanting to register should call the high school at (660) 562-3511 or email Webb at email@example.com.
Walk-ins are also welcome.