No days off

Student athletes spent a large chunk of their summer working out for summer conditioning at school.

Laney Breidenthal and Hope Lancaster

Some students’ alarm clocks still go off in the early hours of the morning on a daily basis during the summer. For football players doing summer conditioning, student athletes must power through early mornings, hot afternoons and hours of training every weekday during the summer to prepare for the upcoming fall season.

Head football coach Mike Zegunis said he has been pleased with the outcome of the players’ appearances. He believes that doing summer workouts brings the players together.

“I tell our players our number one mission of our offseason weightlifting program is to build a team, workout with each other, sweat with each other and really get to know each other real well,” Zegunis said.

The football team conditioned during the week from 6:45 to 9 a.m., with Monday and Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. According to junior Patrick Banning, the weather does not regularly get in the way of conditioning.

“If it is raining, we will war up outside but eventually go inside the school and do drills such as push-ups, sit-ups and burpies,” Banning said. “Luckily, we haven’t had many of those days.”

Despite all the time dedicated to football, Senior Jackson Walker also manages having a job and spending time with friends during the summer.

“You have to revolve your job and social life around football because football comes first,” Walker said. “Also, you have to make sure you have everything in order so you don’t overlap activities. I do feel like I am missing out when my friends are hanging out, but every time I know that football comes first and conditioning helps for the season.”

Although conditioning is optional during the summer, it brings disappointment to not only coaches but the players as well for the teammates who choose to opt out.

“It’s disappointing because you know that they are being selfish and they are not trying to be a part of what we are trying to do as a team,” Zegunis said. “However, I try not to focus on the kids that are not here and I am really excited for the guys who take the time to be here.”

According to Banning, the players that come to work out and train tediously feel disheartened by their teammates’ decision not to show up.

“It’s kind of disappointing because you are here working hard, and you know others should be but they are choosing not to,” Banning said. “For the guys who do come, it makes you feel confident that you know your teammates want to get better, and that translates onto the football field. You know the guy next to you is going to have your back when times get rough.”

At the end of the day, the football team wants to focus on coming together and becoming a team. The football players and coaches work diligently in the summer to display their hard work and determination as they plan to succeed in the upcoming fall season.

“[The players] are definitely benefiting not only physically, but also benefiting by showing teammates that they can count on each other to work hard and do the right thing,” Zegunis said. “It’s about building confidence in your teammates.”