Off-season workouts building strength in more ways than one
By Scott Van Eman, SID Intern
June 3, 2003
With the school year over and the student body home for the summer, the Bluffton College weight room is uncommonly quiet and empty. The room that is normally filled with athletes, students and faculty alike, now is only filled with the pictures, schedules and signs from the previous year. However, one of those many pictures stands out amongst the rest. It is simply a picture of the Bluffton College football scoreboard after last year's 29-6 loss to Defiance with this quote from Muhammad Ali lying beneath it, "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." The football team has taken that picture and quote to heart this off-season.
New head coach Greg Brooks has already seen that quote being put into action, "The winter workouts were good overall with good participation and hard work by the players." The workouts this winter and continuing this summer have placed a new emphasis on flexibility as well as core strength and movement.
The changes have been welcomed by the athletes and Coach Brooks pointed out that, "Our attitude is our best ally."
The football team has seen many changes this off-season, most notably the retirement of long time head coach Carlin Carpenter and the hiring of long time assistant Greg Brooks to replace him. Coach Brooks will bring along with him four new faces to the coaching staff including James Grandey, Andy Bentley and former players Bill Sammons and Darrin Fox. The new faces will be surrounded by some familiar ones including defensive backs coach Denny Phillips, offensive line coach Lou Stokes and linebackers coach/defensive coordinator Allen Curtiss. Coach Brooks will resume duties as offensive coordinator where he has guided the Beavers' offense to 16 seasons of averaging 300 yards a game or more.
The summer months will be active ones for both the athletes and the coaches. The athletes are currently lifting three times a week in preparation for the upcoming season while the coaching staff is finalizing their plans for the team. Players will report back to Bluffton on August 17th and will begin practice the following day. Bluffton will take on Capital in a pre-season scrimmage on August 30th in Columbus.
"They are excited and have a desire to improve," said Coach Brooks of this year's team which they will need in order to rebound from a 3-7 record last season and a 5-5 mark in 2001. Hopes are high that this year's off-season workouts will build the physical and mental strength needed for Bluffton to regain their championship form of three years ago.