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PRC football working on building speed and strength

It’s been a couple of months since the season ended for the Pearl River Central Blue Devils football team, but that doesn’t mean the athletes haven’t been hard at work.

Just a few days after the season ended athletes were back in the weight room putting on muscle as offseason workouts began.

The program changes on a weekly basis.

One week the athletes will be lifting with high weight, but doing a low amount of reps.

The following week it could be the opposite as players lighten the weight, but increase the amount of reps.

This diversity in training helps keep the body guessing and allows the players to build strength in a healthy way.

Head Coach Jacob Owen said the team also did a little recruiting to try and bring more size to the program.

Coaches looked for students who weren’t already on the team and asked them to give football a shot.

So far, the new players have been showing promise.

“We haven’t put pads on yet, but I’ve been pleased with their progress,” Owen said.

There’s been no lull in the intensity of the workouts as senior athletes have stepped up to take charge for their final months as Blue Devils.

Owen said the leadership from the senior class has been important in creating the right attitude and energy during the offseason.

“They understand it’s their turn and last chance here. When those guys are urgent it creates a sense of urgency around the weight room and on the field,” Owen said.

However, those players will be leaving in just a few months, so it’s time for younger players to step up.

No matter an athlete’s age, they can have an impact as a leader by making sure his teammates are focused.

A lot of progress is made during the offseason when it comes to speed and strength, so maintaining a productive environment is key if a team wants to get better.

Owen said he and his staff have talked extensively with the underclassmen about how they can positively affect the athletes around them.

“We want everybody to work like it’s their last season. We want everybody to work like we have something on the line because we do,” Owen said.

The team will continue with the offseason workouts until April and then things will start changing.

Spring football will begin for the Blue Devils on April 20. At that time the pads will come back out for four weeks.

During that month PRC will work on getting younger players reps, while also implementing some new intricacies in its offensive and defensive systems.

Owen said there are a variety of things the team will work on during its spring training, but there’s one aspect above all else the team will hone in on.

“In the spring the number one focus is you want to be physical. We’re going to drive that physical mentality in them,” Owen said.

The training will then culminate in a spring jamboree, which will take place at Pearl River Community College.

PRC will take on South Jones and Hammond in two games that’ll serve as an opportunity for younger players to get significant time on the field.

“We’ll be wanting to get people reps. Everybody should have an opportunity to be evaluated in the spring,” Owen said. The jamboree games will take place at 2 p.m. on May 16.