Cool conditioning: E. Palestine football takes different approach to training

Sports

At the city pool, the Bulldogs focus on upper body and core strength, as well as running form

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – The high school football season is just one month away and with the intense heat this summer, teams are doing everything they can to stay cool while getting a good workout in.

For the past few years, the East Palestine football team has taken a different approach to strength training that’s proven to be quite effective.

“Any time I can trick them into being conditioned, it’s great,” Coach Tony Foster said. “You know, they’re having fun while they’re doing it. They’re not thinking about, ‘Oh, I’m running my butt off. I’m just out here having fun.'”

Sure, there’s fun but each drill has its own purpose when it comes to football. The stations focus on upper body and core strength, as well as running form.

With just 30 players out for the football team this year, Foster said preserving their long-term health is crucial.

“The pounding that we take, as far as every day on the field and going up against each other. It’s nice to be able to get in here, less physical as far as the pounding that our joints and muscles are going to take, yet still a very good workout and effective.”

“It’s a nice break from running every day and doing football stuff every day, and then you also get a good core workout,” said Daniel Bender, senior running back. “Swimming and just all around body [workout]. With so few guys, the best has to play and everything is a competition.”

“We’re swimming our laps, everyone in the pool, just pushing each other to keep on going,” said Nick Fierro, junior lineman. “Just trying to get through the workout because when it comes game time, everyone is going to have to push each other to get through the games.”

Coach Foster ends the workout with a competition called “chicken fights,” which is always a hit.

But Foster said he’s still a bit hesitant to join the fun himself.

“One of these days I’ll get in, but they don’t really want me in because I fight dirty.”

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