That cool, crisp feeling in the air means two simultaneous things—one, that it’s football season, and two, it’s not summer anymore.
For a lot of players on the Muskie football team, there’s little change—other than the weather—going on. Camp is in full swing, but their training has been ongoing for months.
“I did off-season training all winter,” said senior linebacker Tyler Brusven. “Winter, spring, summer, everything . . . I’m not getting beat up or nothin’.
“I’m actually in shape for one year.”
Brusven has been working on his strength and endurance in the off-season, which is a long one in high school football. His training has ramped up to two hours of weight lifting, running, and some speed work five days a week.
“I had to improve myself. I had to improve to improve the team,” Brusven reasoned. “It’s my last year I’ll probably ever be able to play football, so I should give a good shot at it.”
Quite a commitment for such a short season with only seven regular-season games. Why go to all the effort?
“All these guys,” he shrugged, then motioned his arms around the field. “Gotta make it up to them.”
Joe Bodnar, a senior Muskie lineman, is impressed with how well the team has meshed in practices. “We’re all pretty connected,” he said. “We’re clickin’ now real good.”
He’s also impressed with the conditioning of the team—at least, compared to his own effort. “I try, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out between work and other sports in the off-season.
“It looks like other guys have attempted it.”
The team begins pre-season play tomorrow in Winnipeg and Bodner is anxious. “I think about getting to hurt guys without getting into trouble. That’s always good,” he said.
At the very least, he’s honest.
Matt DePiero, a junior running back, also is excited about the upcoming season. He likes how the rookies are looking in practice, and has been working out “quite a bit”—three days a week for the past few weeks—to gear up.
DePiero explained he keeps busy with other sports in the off-season (hockey after football, followed by soccer, then some baseball in the summer) but that’s all to kill time and keep in shape for the gridiron.
“I dunno. Of all the sports I play, I just don’t get the same feeling as football,” he admitted. “When I’m on the football field, I just don’t get the same feeling [with] any other sport.
“You get that big run or you get the ball and you’re running through the line, and just being able to contribute,” he added. “You know, you look back after the game and you think how you helped the team.”
It may be a short season, but here’s hoping it’s one worth the wait.
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