Hard at work

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Five weeks into the summer workout season, the Red Level Tigers football program has continued to do what they know to be the best for the team — work hard.

Since June 8, the Tigers have been working out three days per week — Monday, Tuesday and Thursday — from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Daily conditioning for the team includes core lifting, running drills, agility work, cone drills, “stadium running” and running hills.

“We found out that hills were a pretty good conditioning tool,” Red Level coach Tony Ingram said. “It helps to cut down on knee and ankle injuries.

“We also do the basic lifts like bench, block and power clean, as well.”

This month, the Tigers have kept to the same routine, because the players are all on different schedules.

Ingram said due to the wide spread of kids this summer, they have had to workout all the time.

“The way our kids are spread out, we go all summer,” he said. “They have so many workouts they have to make. The last week of July, we’ll do our mini-camp and we’ll put a lot of emphasis on our kicking game.

“We do that to get them back in the fold,” he said. “Right now, the biggest thing we’re fighting is the heat. We’ve got to get acclimated to the heat.”

Overall, Ingram said he has been satisfied with the turnout of the players each day at workouts.

“I’ve been real pleased with the numbers,” Ingram said. “The timing of the transition of the coaching was not ideal from when coach (Tim) Grimes left to when I was named the new coach.

“The kids left school and didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I have not seen them at all as one group. You’ve got to play with what was dealt you. The kids are working hard and are looking forward to taking another step.”

Ingram said the summer workouts are essential because when he was a player, they didn’t have that luxury.

“To compete now, you’ve got to work out to build your football team from December to August,” he said. “You’ve got to do it. It builds team chemistry.

“Back in the day when I played, very few people worked out,” he said. “In that same sense, most of the kids I went to school with grew up on the farm and worked manual labor all of the time. Most of the kids these days, if they work, do a lot of inside work.”

As for what has changed on the team since June 8, Ingram said there hasn’t been much.

“We haven’t changed much other than me being the head coach,” he said. “My philosophy is not going to change. You’ve got to do the little things to win and we’re doing them.

“You’ve got to do the little stuff and progress.”

In addition, Ingram said he has noticed a lot of the players taking their roles on the team more seriously.

“Some of the kids that weren’t taking things seriously in the past, I’ve seen a change in them,” Ingram said. “If they’re going to work, they’re going to work. You may be able to hide, but on Friday nights, there aren’t a whole lot of places to hid on the football field.”