Carroll County Times
Carroll County Sports

Football: McDaniel clinic gets seniors 'ahead of the game'

Aug. 8 is an important date on the calendar for Maryland high school football.

It marks the first day of fall practice.


Most players have spent the summer lifting and training in the grueling heat in preparation for the upcoming football season.

That grind continued for 85 high school seniors in attendance for the Green Terror 2018 Senior Mini-Camp on Friday at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium, where the turf can range up to 10 degrees hotter than the actual temperature.


This is the third time McDaniel has hosted the bi-annual camp, and Green Terror offensive coordinator Chris Bassler said it’s the biggest group he and the staff has ever had.

“Our coaches go out in the spring and we evaluate kids,” Bassler said. “Most of the guys here today are guys that our coaches have personally invited. You try to get ahead of the game a little bit and get them on campus.”

The one-day camp offers a unique experience for potential prospects from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They run through a gauntlet of individual and team drills in the morning with the Green Terror coaching staff.

Following lunch, prospects are familiarized with campus life. They also get the chance to take a tour and have an information session with the admissions office.

The whole nine yards.

Players aren’t allowed to wear pads, but that doesn’t hinder the intense competition. Testing drills and 1-on-1 matchups give prospects the chance to show off their football skills.

“For it’s just evaluating athletic ability,” Bassler said. “So many of these guys we’ll get to see play in fall so this is just a chance for them to get on our radar and us to get on their radar and really pinpoint the guys we want to target.”

Alexander Magi, from Estonia, runs drills for high school students during McDaniel College Rising Senior Football Camp Friday July 13, 2018.

McDaniel plays among a strong pool in the Centennial Conference that features nationally-ranked teams year in and year out. After enduring a rough patch, going 3-37 in four years from 2012-2015, head coach Mike Dailey has helped turn around the program.


In just two seasons since the Green Terror have already doubled that win total (6-14).

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For a small Division III school that bolsters a little more than 1,500 undergraduates, recruiting is crucial and Bassler expressed confidence in the program’s ability to do that.

“We think our campus sells itself,” he said. “We think we have a lot to offer and the more young men we get exposed that to we think the better we are as a program.”

Manchester Valley wide receiver Holden Schmale was one of the Carroll County players competing to separate themselves in front of just a handful of coaches.

“It’s just the local school and I really like what I see them doing, recruiting player wise,” he said. “I think it’s just a really good opportunity to get noticed.”

Schmale said he was looking forward to the 1-on-1 portion, a part of the camp that attracted plenty of excitement among the group for obvious reasons.


While it’s just one day and an entire season of football awaits for the Class of 2019, Bassler said this is an important step in the recruitment process, no matter how early.

“We just think the more we can get our name out there and expose young men to our coaching staff and to our school,” Bassler said, “the better result we’ll get.”