Recently, I made a trip up North Bend Road in Cincinnati to St. Xavier High School, home to arguably, the top high school football program in the nation. As you approach the training center, their's no question that this is a special place. The stadium there, which holds more than 8,000 fans, is quite imposing with it's "Blue Monster" wall and Field Turf. The stands seem to shoot straight up to the....blue sky.... and without the usual track that surounds high school stadiums, the crowd is right on top of the action.
But just down the path, is the Bomber weightroom. When I was there, it was a little after 8 o'clock in the morning. Yet, their wasn't anyone standing around....it was strictly business as the pre-season, top ranked St. X Bombers prepared for the coming '07 football season. Following this structured and very organized training session, I caught up with a few of their star skill position players.... tailback Darius Ashley, quarterback John Hurley , fullback Luca Romeo and the speedy wide-out Stephan Ball. These well spoken athletes were quite gracious and showed no signs of brash cockiness. Of course, it's almost expected behavior, for this is also one of the top college preparatory academic institutions found anywhere....a place where nearly 100% of all graduates move on to college pursuits. Graduates usually assume occupations as doctors, lawyers, CEO's, teachers, and a few move on to collegiate athletics...some finding their way to professional sports, too, like Rocky Boiman of the World Champion Indianapolis Colts. The other sports at St. Xavier are not struggling either, the basketball squad lost a bid at another Ohio State Boys Basketball Championship in the final seconds last year. The swimming team produces Gold medalist Olympic caliber swimmers....in fact, they, too are top ranked in the USA.
Following the Saturday morning training session, here's what the players had to say (click for podcast at top) on the subjects of: the pressure of sports, training for football, and nutrition for athletes. Special thanks to these athletes and to Coach Carlo Alvarez.
All Rights Reserved Copyright 2007 www.nextlevelfitness.typepad.com blogpost and podcast by Ed Cicale