Football program brings students back early for summer workouts at Meadowbrook

Heading back to school starts for most students the day after Labor Day, but for the area football teams, they are back at school most of the summer, preparing for the upcoming football season. That preparation is summer workouts, leading up to practice, which for most teams starts around the beginning of August.

“This is one of the most important times of the year,” said Meadowbrook’s junior quarterback Gerard Johnson. “This is where you put the time in, you work hard, and you get to know your teammates.”

I was given an opportunity to see the workouts, and even participated in them for three weeks (schedule permitting). Meadowbrook workouts offered morning and afternoon sessions. Monday focused on upper body in the weight room, Tuesday was primarily running, and Thursday focused on lower body.

Now, I’m a big guy, have been for a long time, and while I can be active on the pick-up basketball court once every couple of weeks, I’m no well-oiled machine – and it showed. After the first day of workouts, I was sore hours later, and for the next two days, walking was a struggle. The guys at work probably secretly laughed at me, and for good reason.

Then talking on the phone to my grandma, she recommended something for my soreness, a cream that contained capsaicin, which is the component in hot peppers that gives them the spice. She said the burn was good.

So a few hours later I was at her house, rubbing this on my legs … and let me tell you, a few hours and a doctor’s visit later, I learned that stuff was only for joints, not muscles, and my legs burned like fire all day. That was the second indicator that I was a rookie.

After that initial shock, my body started to settle in, and the workouts over the next few weeks left me with slight-to-no soreness and left me feeling great.

With a good diet and three weeks of working out twice per week, I dropped a total of 19 pounds and three pants sizes. Like I said, I’m a big guy.

In working out with these guys, very few of them struggled, and I saw a lot of improvement in both them and myself over the three weeks. The guys that were in better shape of course had easier times, but there was no evidence of bad attitude and the enthusiasm levels were high even though it was 8 a.m. in the morning.

“Our guys have worked extremely hard this offseason,” said Meadowbrook strength coach Randy West. “We have pushed each player to their limit, and we’re proud of their response.”

The next thing: translating this success to the gridiron. Meadowbrook, a team that fell a field goal short of the playoffs, won’t be a team lacking motivation this season. The season for the Monarchs kicks off September 1. Details and previews on the upcoming season for Meadowbrook, L.C. Bird, Thomas Dale and Matoaca will all be in a future edition of the Village News.

As for me, I’m going to keep this workout train rolling, and hope members of the Meadowbrook coaching staff weren’t fibbing when they said “You’re actually kind of fast for a big guy.”

Until next time, stay cool out there Chester.

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