By Ernie Gonzalez (@superego1012)
With the start of training camp on the horizon, some Spartans haven’t taken the month of July off, working before dawn for one purpose: to improve their game.
Being out on the field in shorts at 6 a.m. means no snooze button, but the prize outmatches the price and to senior OT Nate Velichko, waking up early is the easy part.
“We had some extremely hard workouts that we had to push each other through and we were not able to do by ourselves,” Velichko said.
Many people don’t realize that off-season workouts to many athletes are the most difficult to go through.
The pigskin is not on the field. It’s athletes in t-shirts and pouchless shorts put through skill tests to prove they can hang with coach’s orders.
Some players don’t see the bigger picture. Velichko isn’t one of those players.
“We were pushed to our limits … It created a bond and a mentality throughout the summer … that we have to give one another to be the athletes that we want to be on the field on Saturdays,” Velichko said.
“Big V” isn’t the only senior impressed with what he’s been seeing during workouts. Defensive back Andre Chachere also has been moved by what he’s seen during workouts this month.
“I feel we are a lot faster, stronger, explosive, everything, than we’ve been our last four years here,” Chachere said.
And he can’t wait to show us. “Once we hit the field on Friday, I think it’s all gonna show.”
Chachere has made it clear that the young blood the Spartans have on the ‘MoneyTeam’ is nothing to take lightly.
“We’ll meet with them and we’ll let them know that being part of the secondary is something special,” Chachere said. “Being part of that ‘MoneyTeam,’ you gotta earn it. You can’t just come in and have it.”
For those coming in, the freshmen carry the most weight, at least to head coach Brent Brennan.
“We had a bunch of guys graduate,” Brennan told The Spear. “We had a bunch of holes to fill … so we’re counting on those freshmen and those newcomers big time.”
With day 1 of practice right around the corner, Brennan understands the excitement, but plans to keep his group focused and get back to business.
“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and continuing the process we started in the spring,” Brennan said. “We got a lot of work to do but, the guys are excited and they’ve really invested in this offseason.”
As of right now, Brennan says he hasn’t taken the time to take a good look at his freshman.
He’s been watching, but it’s too early to speculate in his eyes.
“I need to get out there and spend a little more time with them,” Brennan said. “They’re out there running around in shorts, and there is no football. Everyone looks good in shorts,” he said sarcastically.