A day in the life of…
Local football stars don't sit still in summer
John Shivers, Hartselle Enquirer
Just because the fields are vacated, the concession stands are empty, and the marching band's instruments stored away, does not mean that high school football is out of session. Players are hard at work during the summer, getting ready for the new season and keeping their bodies in shape for when the rigors of practice start in August.
Some players choose to stay in shape with summer workouts, others through manual labor, and some travel to Division I colleges to take part in state-of-the-art camps run by respected coaches at ultra-modern facilities. But don't take my word for it. Take the words of John Shivers, a senior left tackle/defensive tackle at Brewer, who has been keeping a journal through the summer that gives an up-close view into the life of a prep football player during the off-season.
Here are some highlights from Shivers' journal:
Sunday, May 29
"I was supposed to wake up and go to Boys State, but I woke up nearly deaf in one ear. I would like to try and go later in the week, but I don't think that's an option. I can't believe this a once-in-a-lifetime event, something I was chosen for over many others, and now I've gotten sick. Later that night I decided that I wasn't going to go to Boys State, and instead get to feeling better for summer workouts and camps."
Thursday, June 2
"First day of workouts. I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and drank a protein shake, then left the house around 5. I didn't have to be at school until 5:30, but I wanted to get there early and talk to coach. It was a heavy workout – upper and lower body, boxes, and running a mile – my legs were numb after that mile! Came home at 7 and slept until 9, then headed back out to school around 11:30 to help coaches unload new weights and equipment. … I played a little basketball later that afternoon and worked for a few hours after that taking down fences and cutting the grass. That night I went back to school and worked out and ran some more."
Friday, June 3
"Woke up extremely sore. … (Editor's note: No kidding!)"
Sunday, June 12
"Woke up at 2:30 a.m. to go to Mississippi State. I slept pretty much the whole way there. … We started with stretching and then we started testing. My group started with the shuttle and on my first try I fell and on the second try I slipped again and when I tried to recover I hyper-extended my knee. … We did bench press later with 185 pounds, and I got 21 reps – not too many beat me at that."
Monday, June 13
"When I woke up for some reason my ear was hurting really bad, which usually means something is really wrong. I didn't do anything today except go to workouts and I did all I could. Because my knee was hurting I did an upper body workout and did the running later that night. I couldn't sleep because my ear was hurting so bad; I almost ended up going to the emergency room. I took some medicine just to help me sleep."
Thursday, June 15
"When I woke up my ear was still hurting. That morning I went to the doctor about my ear. There is a good possibility that I have to have surgery. … My knee wasn't hurting anymore so I did the full workout."
Friday, June 18
"Today when I woke up we started packing for a senior camp at Tennessee. We left around 4 p.m. and drove about four and half hours to our hotel. We got there around 10 that night and I couldn't sleep at all. Tomorrow should be fun."
Saturday, June 19
"Woke up around 7 a.m. at the hotel and got to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center around 8. … We started with 40 times and L-drill times and then we did bench press reps with 225 pounds. I had 12 reps, and only one person in our group beat me. … After lunch we worked on position work.
I was one of the smallest linemen there. There were only about 100 kids, as opposed to 500 at Mississippi State. I got home around 8 that night – these camps kind of wear me out. I'm glad I'm only going to two more senior camps – Troy State and UAB."
Sports editor Justin Schuver contributed to this story.