Gettin' Pumped

Published 3:36 am Monday, June 18, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
Championships are won in the off-season. Although one of the most overused clich/s in football, the Escambia County High School football staff knows the importance of hard work during the summer. It has prompted head coach Kyle Davis to coin his own clich/, "Anything worth doing is worth doing with enthusiasm and gusto."
If you have ever passed by the Blue Devils' field house Monday through Thursday, you will agree that enthusiasm and gusto are certainly evident by the excitement heard, while weight training is under way.
"It's going pretty good," Davis said. "We haven't had 100 percent attendance yet, but we've stayed steady at around 85 percent. We won five games last year and we're trying to build off that and win six or seven. Our goal this year is not only to make the playoffs, but we want to have a home playoff game this year. We want to be good enough to at least come in second, of course everybody shoots for the region championship, but we want to at least have the second seed because we would like to host our own playoff game. It's more than workouts, they know their workouts will pay off on Friday."
This is the third year the Blue Devils have implemented a mandatory summer weight-training program. The program includes weightlifting, speed and agility drills and resistance exercises. Davis said the program is not completely based after any one college or high school program.
"Every weight program you see is different," he said. "We've got different things from here and there and other schools, but most of our stuff is just a hybrid of a whole bunch of concepts."
Each year ECHS has improved on the gridiron. Davis attributes a lot of that success to the hard work and dedication of his athletes in the weight room.
"Every year we've gotten stronger and gotten better and I definitely think it's a strong reflection of our weight program and why we have gotten better," Davis said. "I think it just makes that much of a difference. It's just that important."
As for the hours spent working out in the heat of the summer and the pain and agony endured, Davis believes it is worth it and know his players have bought into the system.
"Anything worth doing is worth doing with enthusiasm and gusto," Davis said. "Hard work is hard work and a lot of times kids don't want to work hard because they've lost interest in what they are doing. But if we make weight training exciting and put a little competition into it and some excitement, it makes for a better time. The kids know it's something they've got to do, so why not have the best attitude about it when you are in there."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox