Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2001

MVHS football workouts Gooden tough

August 9, 2001

The summer workouts that high school coaches put their players through can be extremely tough. It's hard to imagine a workout without a coach involved could be even tougher. But at Mill Valley High School that's exactly the case.

Thanks to former DeSoto High School football player Josh Gooden, a handful of Mill Valley players are getting to experience just what a college football workout is like a college football workout at Navy.

After graduating from DHS, Gooden accepted a scholarship at the Naval Academy. This summer he brought a little of that training home with him and he's turned it loose on his brother, Mill Valley junior John.

John and about 15 of his Mill Valley teammates have been put through some of the most intense workouts of their lives this past week. And despite the difficult nature of a real-life Navy workout, each one of them has loved it.

"It's pretty intense," John said. "It's not just that you're running and getting winded, you're out there for an entire hour working up a sweat and eventually your muscles start to ache. It's a great workout."

As if that weren't bad enough, the hour that the group chooses to be out there is one of the earliest in the morning. Routinely at 7:00 a.m., 15 of these athletes who have varied from day to day are up and at 'em trying to get faster, tougher and stronger. By going through basic running, calesthenics, ladder and rope drills as well as hurdles and sprints, this group of football players is getting a first-hand account of what basic training might be like.

Josh doesn't take that far, but because state rules prevent MVHS coach George Radell from being involved, Josh has been given free reign to do whatever he wants.

"What a great luxury that is for me," Radell said. "To have a guy who will make them run until they're sick."

Radell also said, however, that he and Josh discussed not taking it too far because in the hot summer heat, overdoing it can be very dangerous.

"Josh and I talked about that," Radell said. "And he's been giving them plenty of water breaks and making sure that they don't overdo it."

making sure that they don't overdo it."

By definition, however, this workout is overdoing it. Josh brought his Navy summer workout program home with him and John said the guys have been following that every day.

The idea actually came from their father, C.R. He knew Josh was going to be home for a week and asked John if he'd be interested in the workout. John then asked his teammates along with Radell, and they all jumped at the opportunity.

One player who ran through the workout, senior Tim Herbel, said the workouts have been intense but that have formed a bond as well.

"It brings us all together the new people, we talk and it really will help us when we get out on the field. We'll know a lot more about each other," Herbel said.

Herbel also said getting up early has been the toughest part, but none of it has been easy. And that's just what Josh had in mind. After all, this is his workout too.

"I haven't taken them through any military stuff, just workouts," Josh said. "It's been strictly conditioning, no lifting, which has been a change for these guys. They're working as hard as the Division-I athletes I play with, no doubt about it."

The players will take the weekend off and then get after it on Monday with Mill Valley's first official football practice.

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