Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2003

MHS team raises plenty of funds during lift-a-thon

August 6, 2003

Pumping iron helped pump a lot of money into the McLouth High football fund.

With 23 players lifting Saturday in the MHS weight room, the team raised $3,000 through a lift-a-thon.

"I really wasn't expecting this much," MHS coach Harry Hester said Tuesday. "It went excellent.

"We had a lot of parents there and we set a ton of personal records."

The event initially was going to be held in the gymnasium, but after being refinished recently, the floor still hadn't completely cured so it was off-limits. But that wasn't an issue with Hester.

"It was a better atmosphere," he said. "Parents got into it."

Last Wednesday, the players maxed out during their weeklong camp, but many came back with new maxes Saturday. Overall, the team has increased its weight maxes by 3,400 pounds during the summer among three lifts: bench press, squats and cleans.

Hester said the money would pay for already purchased weightroom equipment, 7-on-7 jerseys and additional T--shirts players could receive if they improved a lift by 60 pounds during the summer program. Hester likely will use the funds for practice equipment also.

The lift-a-thon wrapped up the team's annual camp, which attracted 29 players this season. Hester said two players who were absent because of vacation will report when the team begins practice Aug. 18.

When the first-year Bulldog coach had his initial meeting with players, 49 interested high schoolers attended, but 31 actually will be on the squad.

"That's about where I expected it to be," Hester said.

That's actually an increase of 10 players from last year's squad that went 0-9.

But Hester said he didn't really do much recruiting for new players.

"I let the kids do that," Hester said. "I told them: 'You know who needs to be here. You get on them.'"

The young Bulldogs have six upperclassmen -- and just two seniors, both of whom didn't play last season.

Tyler Smith, who sat out last season, and Jake Perry, who will be playing his first year in high school, are McLouth's only seniors.

With a new coach and extremely young team, the Bulldogs proceeded through the camp last week.

"The first day went really well," Hester said. "The second day we put in some more stuff. It's a lot for the kids to take in."

Hester basically used the rest of the week to review.

But he is pleased with a squad that hasn't seen many wins in the last three seasons.

"They're the type of kids who aren't going to rest on what we've done," Hester said. "They're going to look on what we have ahead of us. Enthusiasm and work ethic is there.

"I can go on forever. I'm just so pleased with how they've worked this summer. It's amazing."

The team will have a team meeting Aug. 16 before beginning two-a-day practices two days later.

The Bulldogs open the season with a home game Sept. 5 against Valley Falls.

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