With the summer workouts ending, the St. Edmund football team’s next step is the pre-season practice in preparation for the 2008 season.
“We tried something different this year,” St. Eds athletic director and head football coach Tom Andrus said. “We gave them a week off right after school. Then we had 24 workouts and they were required to make 18.”
Andrus said the process is quick and the results have been positive.
“After 20 minutes of stretching, we break off into the three 35 minute sessions with free exercise, weight training and plyometrics,” he explained.
Plyometrics is a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance
Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther, or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal.
Andrus said he noticed that the main problems for his athletes was their lack of flexibility.
“Without flexibility you won’t have speed,” he said. “In the eight weeks we went through this, we can see a big, big difference so far.
“Our kids that had just been pumping iron at the health club were tight and now they are more flexible.”
Andrus said the summer program is vital to the success of the Blue Jay football program.
“If you don’t do any weight training or some type of exercise program your are behind and you can’t keep up with the other competition.”
Andrus said the program they are using is also used by Notre Dame, Westlake, Abbeville, Kaplan and Lake Arthur among others.
“Notre Dame started it and something is working in their program so I went to it this year because of that.”
With school starting Aug. 8 and the first official practice set for Aug. 11, Andrus said he is still searching for a team to replace Acadiana Prep on the schedule.
The Eagles dropped out of the LHSAA last month, which made an opening in the Blue Jays’ schedule on Oct. 17, the seventh week of the season.
“We thought we had it solved when it looked like Ville Platte High was being closed,” he said. “Opelousas Catholic then needed a seventh game and we were going to play them.
“But Ville Platte has been given a reprieve and they will stay open through football season.”
Andrus said he is still trying to contact Fisher High School because they heard they had two open dates with one of them on the seventh playing date.
St. Eds will scrimmage at Opelousas Catholic on Thursday, Aug. 21 and then face Westminster Christian Academy in the Opelousas Kiwanis Jamboree on Thursday, Aug. 28.
The Blue Jays open the regular season Sept. 1 at Sacred Heart of Ville Platte.