The intensity is there for PRC football

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The athletes sat on the floor as Pearl River School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin gave a speech about self-improvement.

“Improvement doesn’t lie in your comfort zone,” Lumpkin said.

“People are scared of the unknown because they may fail, but failure is nothing more than a lesson to be learned.”

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The speech ended, and without any reprieve Head Football Coach Jacob Owen made an audible noise that signaled to the players it was time to start the workout.

In unison the players jumped up and went through a series of warm ups before breaking off into three groups.

The week of the PRC Baddest Devil had begun.

Two groups began with agility drills while the third started with bench presses.

This wasn’t an ordinary workout; instead players were trying to best their previous records.

This meant more weight added to the metal bar, and an air of excitement throughout the field house.

There are a variety of stations that athletes will go through as the week progresses.

At each station a maximum of 30 points can be earned. As the week goes on these points are added up, and at the end the top 10 athletes with the most points are immortalized on a plaque on the field house wall bearing their names.

“It’s our last max of the workout season, and it’s a big deal,” Owen said.

Coaches with clipboards bearing sheets of the players’ names watched as the athletes tried to beat their best records.

Their job was to document the weight lifted by players, and where that was in relation to the players’ previous max lift. With each slam of the weights getting racked was a chorus of jubilant screams, and slaps on the back as a new lifter approached the bar.

“We try to make practices and training sessions pretty tough,” Owen said. “We want to create a tough environment.”

Owen said everything they do relates back to football, whether it is stretches or lifting.

He wants his players to always have the same intensity they would have during a game, and to do that he keeps the workouts high energy.

“They’ve bought into the weight program because they see themselves getting stronger,” Defensive Coordinator Chris Penton said.

Penton said that it’s the coaches’ job to get the athletes to believe in the system, and the best way to do that is for the system to show results.

The program will continue throughout the week with each day presenting a new set of challenges for the players to overcome. This preparation is the lead up to the pads being put on in the very near future, and from that point on the focus will be on the team’s first game.

“Our kids have gotten a lot stronger, and we ask a lot of them,” Offensive Coordinator Justin Sones said.

“I’m feeling pretty good as far as where we stand with our athleticism, strength and toughness.”

The growth will continue, and come the end of the week the players will know whom the “Baddest Devils” truly are.