GRIDDERS' WORK NEVER DONE


Publication: CHARLESTON DAILY MAIL
Published: 07/27/1988
Page: P1B
Headline: GRIDDERS' WORK NEVER DONE
Byline: DON HAGER


High school football practice begins Monday.
Or did it ever end after the 1987 season?
Like their big brothers, the college and professional players,
prep gridders are working at their sport on a year-round basis.
"It's necessary,' said Nitro High School's new head coach,
Greg Cyrus. "Everybody does it and you've got to keep up. We've
found out that when athletes build themselves up, they eliminate a
lot of injuries.'
When Cyrus changed jobs last spring, moving from Sissonville to
Nitro, he met with the Wildcats' returning players and set up an
offseason program. Such programs must be voluntary.
Cyrus also talked with the Nitro Junior High players and with
high school boys who hadn't played football. Then he mailed his
players a letter outlining the weightlifting program and dates for
physical examinations and the start of practice.
"The kids lifted two days a week and ran on their own,' Cyrus
said of the summer program. "I saw them running half-miles in 95
degree weather.'
Although some athletes train at area health clubs, Cyrus likes
for the players to work out together.
"It develops camaraderie and helps the sophomores who are
coming into the program by making them feel more accepted,' said
Cyrus.
Nitro got a new weightlifting facility last year in Pat Vance's
)
final season as head coach. It is at Underwood Field, home stadium
of the Wildcats.
"We're in the process of getting mirrors and carpeting,' said
Cyrus. "The room is 40 feet by 60 feet. We can handle many more
weights than before when there was only a small room here.'
On Monday, the Wildcats and all other high school football
players in West Virginia will leave their exercise stations and go
outdoors into one of the hottest summers ever. Four weeks of
practice will preceed opening games on Aug. 26.