Football is physical, and the Lindsay Knights are spending this summer focused on getting ready for it.
Coach Jeff Smiley said he will know if Lindsay’s summer workouts were successful based on the way the Knights play this fall.
“When we line up, are we going to be physical?” Smiley said. “To me, especially up front, both sides of the ball, hopefully we’ll see our gains. That’ll translate into a level of physicality, and hopefully we can play the game the way it’s meant to be played.”
Lindsay finishes its six weeks of workouts next week. Smiley said he looks at the summer as an extension of the offseason program and is mainly focused on strength and conditioning with some occasional football work included. The Knights will wait until football practice officially starts in August to get fully into practicing.
Smiley said working on strength and agility is an important first step before going all in on football.
“You can’t put the cart before the horse,” Smiley said. “You better get the physicality part of it taken care of. The football stuff will come. We’re changing our offense a little bit, so we probably spent more time this summer on football than we have in the last two. But that’s what two-a-days are for. We feel like we’re doing what’s best for us. To me, our main objective is to be as big and as fast and as strong as we can be. Otherwise, none of the rest of it matters.”
Smiley said another reason he doesn’t focus too much on football during the fall is to keep the players excited for August. He wants them hungry for football when practice begins and doesn’t want them to get burned out after doing a ton of practice in the summer.
Other Lindsay teams such as basketball, baseball or softball tend to spend more time working on sport-specific skills during the summer even though the football team typically doesn’t.
Junior Yash Patel said he feels like the workouts have gone well so far. He said he is focused on getting faster and stronger and wants to make sure he is always working hard.
“I like to see that I’m tired after the workout or I’m sore the next day,” Patel said. “We get these weight cards in the weight room, so I want to see my weight go up on that, too.”
Patel said the coaches do a lot to motivate the players. Besides just encouraging and pushing them, the coaches sometimes offer various incentives. Wednesday, for example, the players were rewarded with watermelon slices after they were done working out.
Senior Ivan Reyes also said the coaches do a lot to motivate them. He said everyone worked together and cooperated last year, leading to a successful season. Reyes said he has high expectations for this fall, too.
“For me to be satisfied with us being successful is basically going to the playoffs undefeated again like we did last year and going farther than we did last year,” Reyes said.
Smiley said attendance has been strong all summer, reaching around 90 to 95 percent for the high school football players.
He said the Knights have had great gains in their strength and conditioning this summer, and he likes where they are as the start of the season approaches.
“They’ve worked extremely hard,” Smiley said. “They’ve done that all summer long. They did that all offseason long. They know the expectations. I’m just really proud of the work that they put in. It’s just been a really productive summer and productive offseason. Hopefully, that’ll bode well going into the season.”