By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
It’s that time of the year again, preparation time!
At Port Isabel High School, the football players get a week off after the last game of the season, and then workouts begin in preparation for next season. These workouts take place in the course of a regular school day, and are conducted with coaches’ supervision during the athletic period. After the end of the school year, the players are on their own for two weeks before organized summer workouts begin, again with coaches directing the activities. This is all done within UIL (University Interscholastic League) rules, which allow for organized summer workouts with coaches for two hours a day, four days a week, for six weeks.
Earlier this week, this high school football reporter visited the weight room at the high school and found several Tarpon football players pumping a little iron.
“I work out six days a week,” senior Tarpon running back John Ray Martinez told the Press on Tuesday. “Sundays I do abs. Mondays I run for two hours and work out for another hour. Tuesdays I do upper body. Wednesdays I run for another hour and work out again. Saturday is our only rest day.”
Martinez has probably put in more hours in the weight room than most other Tarpon players as he competed in powerlifting during the winter months. “When football ends the powerlifting workouts begin,” Martinez said this week. “Then I have to start running for track, and I’ve got baseball.” Martinez worked out with the sprinters on the track team this spring but did not compete in any meets. He was an outfielder for the baseball team.
Martinez believes the more preparation the better. “It’s not about just being ready,” he said during a break in his lifting Tuesday. “You’ve got to be more than ready. You’ve got to be working out more than you expect your (opponents) to be working out. They’re working out too so you have to outwork them.”
“The other guys call me a workout addict because that’s all I do. If you don’t have the dedication and the will to do it, you’re not going to go anywhere.”
Juan Mireles, another senior, plays left guard on the team and is also much into working out on his own before organized summer workouts begin next week. “I’m just working out and doing some running.”
Mireles agrees that the less than successful ending to last season provides extra motivation for next season. “We were disappointed at how it ended last year. We knew we could have done better. We want to bring the district title back to P.I.”
Senior Jose Cayetano plays tight end and defensive end. “It’s really important … to improve on our football skills. We work to improve upper body (strength) and lower body. I run for an hour every day.”
The schedule for the 2015 Port Isabel football season is the same as last year, except that every 2014 road game will be a home game next season and vice-versa. That’s especially important for the Corpus Christi West Oso and Orange Grove games, both of which will be played at Tarpon Stadium in October. The team will scrimmage Donna North on the road on August 14 and Mercedes at home a week later. The regular season will start at home against RGC Grulla on August 28.
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