By Josh Bronson
Pilot Sports Editor
"Championships begin here."
This motto is the building block for the new after school weight program at Brookings-Harbor High School.
Led by the Bruin football coaches, the program is designed to make the Bruin football players bigger, faster and stronger for next season.
"Every successful football program has a successful weight program," JV Coach Donny Gallian said. "Everything the kids are doing here in the weight room will make them better football players."
The coaches and athletes meet after school three days a week Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and participate in an intense workout for about an hour and a half.
"At first, we worked on repetition and form," Head Coach Jim Keys said. "Then we increase the weight and speed as they go on."
On Monday, half of the athletes work on their legs while the other half lifts their upper body.
On Tuesday, the students rotate.
"The body needs a day to rest," Keys said. "We give them a good, intense workout without overworking them."
The students then end the week's lifting with a full-body workout on Thursday.
Last summer, the football program attempted to have regular weight room sessions, but proved unsuccessful.
"We didn't get a ton of kids in here," Keys said. "We averaged about eight players, with as many as 14 sometimes."
Currently, there are about 24 football players who regularly attend the workouts.
"The best part about this is the participation," Gallian said. "This is just a positive thing, to get them out here so early. It's only going to benefit these football players."
Many of the athletes that participate are younger, with a large number of freshmen and even some eighth graders trying to improve their physique.
"This program is important, especially with so many young guys playing on varsity next year," sophomore Nick Longo said. "It helps build team unity and gets the guys stronger and ready for next season."
As a sophomore, Longo started nearly every game for the Bruins at center.
With only five returning seniors for next season, the Bruins will be counting on the development of many of their young players to make next season a successful one.
One of the Bruins' young guns is Derek Chavez, a freshman who will be competing for varsity playing time as a sophomore next year.
"This is great for the whole team, not just varsity," Chavez said. "It's good to get a lot of these guys in here now to get them bigger and stronger. Dedication is one of the big things here."
Along with Keys and Gallian, coaches Mike LaThorpe and Vince Longo assist the athletes is proper lifting techniques and motivation.
Although the program consists mostly of football players, it is an open weight program and anyone is invited to attend and participate.
Workouts begin at 4 p.m. in the high school weight room.