The Iron Tigers’ Iron Will

Football is a game played between predator and prey. It is a game won by bullies who are able to move people from point A to point B when the latter hasn’t the least desire to go to point B, with apologies to Hall of Fame member, Russ Grimm. Hopkinsville High School is a team which Coach Dowland has been stewarding through the offseason program. It is a team which is traditionally one of the best programs in Kentucky and certainly in the Class 4A division. It is a team which came within 10 minutes of making last year’s State Semis, carrying a lead against State Champion Franklin-Simpson deep into the 3rd quarter before succumbing to the bigger, stronger, and more explosive Wildcats. It is a team which, this offseason, has been determined to enter 2018 anatomically different. How have they done? Well, you be the judge.

The two dispositive dates we are using to gauge the progress of the Iron Tigers and their Iron Will to enter the 2018 season a different football team are December 19, 2017, when the strength and conditioning program started, offseason and in earnest, and the end of the year testing completed different times during the month of May, 2018. The following are the results detailed from beginning to end of the year testing. The column on the left is the amount of the maximum lift in pounds, the middle column represents when the offseason weight program started in December of 2017 and the column on the right is the end of the year testing numbers from this month (May, 2018)!

Back Squat;

over 350…..4……….17

over 400…..2……….8

Front Squat;

over 350…..0……….11

over 400…..0……….4

Dead Lift;

over 400…..9……….21

over 450…..4……….9

over 500…..2……….6

Incline Bench;

over 185…..13……….28

over 205…..9……….24

over 225…..3……….16

over 250…..0……….6

Power Clean;

over 185…..13……….28

over 205…..9……….24

over 225…..3……….16

over 250…..0……….6

Hang Clean;

over 185…..10……….22

over 205…..4……….18

over 225…..1……….11

over 250…..0……….3

Flat Bench;

over 185…..18……….30

over 205…..13……….23

over 225…..9……….18

over 250…..4……….10

over 275…..2……….3

over 300…..0……….2

So, there it is folk. When you notice the improvement, remember whose numbers are in the middle column took a lead into the halftime locker room against the eventual State Champion in its classification at the Regional Finals. As for football relatable lifts such as the flat and incline bench; the back and front squat; and the power and hang cleans, the team looks to be particularly performing at a high level. Sixteen players inclining at or above 225 pounds, eighteen players at or above 225 pounds on the flat bench, 11 players hang cleaning at or above 225 pounds, and sixteen players power cleaning at or above 225 pounds. This is a high school football team with only 8 or so rising seniors on the roster.

What grade do you give Strength & Conditioning Coach Adam Dowland. I suppose the final grade won’t be in until the 2018 season. We presented these numbers to Kentucky’s top personal trainer, Chris Vaughn at Aspirations Fitness Institution and asked him what he thought of the Tigers’ weight program and offseason gains. Here is what he had to say on the matter…It’s no secret football games are won and lost in the offseason. These numbers attained by the Tigers during the May testing tell me, as a professional in the field, and as someone who played football at both Notre Dame and the University of Louisville, that Coach Dowland has gotten his young charges to clearly buy into what he is trying to do with the program and the culture. It is also clear the Tigers have developed a culture of both pushing themselves and each other. These type gains generally are easily seen impacting the won/loss column in years subsequent to their being registered. Will the Tigers be markedly better than the team which was Regional Runner-up to the State Champion in the classification? KPGFootball certainly thinks so. However, it won’t be long now before we know for sure. I can tell you this, if I were a betting man, I know where my wager would be placed.

This is Fletcher Long, reporting for KPGFootball reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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