By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Tarpon Football Players Active in Weight Room
Port Isabel High football players may be enjoying their summer vacation but they know that in less than five weeks practice begins for the 2015 season. Weight workouts are an important part of summertime preparations for the players, and your football reporter dropped by the weight room at the high school this week to see how they were progressing.
Head Tarpon football coach and athletic director Monty Stumbaugh was actually the first to arrive, about 7:30 a.m., and he has his own workout regimen.
“I try to stay in shape and I work out four, five times a week,” Stumbaugh said between reps. “If you want to talk the talk you’ve got to walk the walk. I’m definitely not going to lift what these kids are lifting – we’ve got some pretty strong boys in here. I don’t, by any means, come close to what they’re doing. I try to be a good example for the kids.”
Some players began to filter in at about 8 a.m. and I sought a few of them out.
Pedro Gonzalez is an incoming freshman and plays running back. He described the importance of weight workouts; “They help you get stronger… blow through the line when you’re carrying the ball. You always have to work and strive to the limit, so you can get to the top.”
Gonzalez was asked about the anticipation of a new season; “I feel the excitement to learn the plays and get to know all the varsity players.”
Senior Eduardo Gonzalez, who expects to go both ways at center and defensive end, was another early arrival. “I come in mostly every day. The weight room is open 7:00 to 4:00, Monday through Thursday. You have to work so as to not get out of shape and stay ready for next year.”
Most all the players are lifting whenever they can make it in and Gonzalez said they check up on each other. “Everybody has each other’s phone number, so you call them up and remind them.”
Like many players, Gonzalez is working a summer job. “I work with my dad. He has a mobile car wash company. We’re all around here, from Laguna Vista to the Island.”
The weight room will remain open Monday through Thursday until three days before the start of practice on Monday, August 3rd, and the workouts are voluntary. “You can come in as you (can). They’re not forcing you – if you have to work, that’s fine.”
As I watched, Gonzalez was doing squat reps with the bar set on his shoulders and loaded to 315 pounds. “I did six reps. We go from 55% to 70% and we do fewer reps with more weight.”
Gonzalez plans to continue his workout schedule right up through the last Thursday before practice begins in August. “We’ll get three days off at the end of that week. We’ll get a pretty good rest.”
Jeremy Martinez, a sophomore receiver and corner back, also believes in the benefits of the off-season weight room workouts. “It gets us ready for two-a-days. It’s going to be hot and this prepares us for that. (For me) it’s more about speed and agility than leg power and arms. I’m here four days a week.”
“If you’re going to be high school athletics you’ve got to keep yourself in shape,” Stumbaugh said. “Bigger, faster, stronger, that’s the name of the game. We tell the kids to enjoy your summer vacation, but you should still be able to find time to work out.”
Larry Gage; Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
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