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Early rising FHS football players hoping discipline pays off in Admiral wins

Being on the field at 7 a.m. may not seem like a fun thing to do in the summer, but for the football players at Farragut High School, it’s just something that has to be done.

“It is tough waking up early in the morning but it’s something you have got to do and it shows discipline,” senior defensive back/wide receiver Lee Travis said. “Getting stronger and bigger will help you during the season and give you that extra edge over the other players.”

Monday through Thursday, these football players gather to work on strength in the weight room as well as several conditioning programs on the field.

“I think we are doing really good, it’s been tough,” senior defensive back/linebacker Brian Tipton said. “I think we will be doing really good this year and as a team it will help us a lot. We have a lot of guys that are getting a lot stronger, even the younger guys are getting stronger.”

Having just started the main running program, the players feel that they will be in tiptop shape when the season unfolds. “We are all just trying to get stronger, we have started to get into our major running program now,” senior linebacker Tony Manilla said. “It’s not fun but it will pay off during the season.” The program includes a lot of sprint work as well as some long distance running for stamina.

“I feel that we are a couple of steps ahead of what we were last year and we are a whole lot stronger than what we were, so we should be good,” Travis said.

As for the turnout of these workouts, “Almost everybody is here every morning just trying to get stronger in the weight room and get faster out there (on the track) doing sprint work as well as long distance running to build up our conditioning,” senior Jeff Courtney said. “Everybody is really close and we hang out together off the field and it’s just fun to be around them.”

Head Coach Eddie Courtney feels that the early morning workouts were good for this team.

“Every situation has to look at what’s best for their kids, for us this is the best thing,” he said. “We found that early workouts have helped us and it gives them the rest of the day so that they can do other things because it is their summer too and all we are asking is two hours a day, but other than that, it is their summer.”

Courtney said he is extremely pleased with the progress he has seen this summer.

“These guys, they have worked real hard, they come in every morning from seven until nine and we have had about 90 percent of them go to special football camps this summer,” Courtney said. “I think that it gives them a chance to get up together and it gives them a chance to take care of other things; if they need to work, play other sports we try to help them do that and I think that they have the discipline to wake up at six thirty to be on the field at seven.”

As for team goals this season, all of the players have one in mind; they want to go to state. “I want state and nothing less,” Travis said.

While all of the seniors hope to have seasons that earn them individual accolades, senior quarterback Tyler Powell has a different outlook. “My personal goal is to help my team win region,” the senior said.


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