VINCENT - Anthony Fish is quickly getting settled in as Warren's head football coach and his players are getting settled in to their offseason workout routine.
The Warriors have been hitting the weight room hard in anticipation for the 2014 football season to start.
"We stress conditioning and weight training a lot," Fish said. "We're focusing on core strength and stretching right now.
Times file photo
Warren running back Jared Isner (7) removes some of the turf from his helmet during a game last fall. Local players are currently conditioning and lifting.
"It looks like we've got pretty good numbers."
Before official practices begin in early August, the Warriors will hold a three or four day long camp at the end of July. That leaves them six or seven days of unpadded instruction to work with in the next month or so. Other than that, most of their time will be spent getting into shape.
"I really like what I'm seeing," Fish said. "We've got great athletes, great kids. I think we'll have a team that's more competitive than most people think.
"I'm tired of hearing that we're a basketball school. We can make it both (football and basketball)."
In addition to the team camp later this summer, Fish is planning to hold junior high and youth football camps at some point as well. He said he plans to meet with youth coaches next week to touch base on some things. Fish wants to instill his philosophies at the younger levels to have players ready by the time junior high and high school rolls around.
"That's where success starts," Fish said.
WATERFORD - Waterford's football team is also working on weight training and has mixed in some seven-on-seven drills as well.
"We've been having a good turnout, about 15-20 kids in the weight room a day," said Waterford head coach Tom Tucker. "Most of the kids realize how important weight training is. It's hard work, but you have to be strong."
Tucker added that some of his players are involved in other things and that it's been hard to get everyone there at once, but that's not unusual during the summer.
The Wildcats will have a five-day team camp starting July 21 which will transition them into the beginning of two-a-days in August.
"We're looking forward to the season," Tucker said. "I think we're gonna have more kids out this year. We played a lot of underclassmen last year and they're all a year older now. We're looking forward to being a lot better than what we were last year."
BEVERLY - Fort Frye is also spending a lot of time in the gym.
Head coach Eric Huck said the team has been having lifting sessions in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and in the evenings on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Cadets got into a little action on the gridiron recently as well. They participated in passing scrimmages at Parkersburg High Tuesday and Friday "just to get the players excited and kind of break up June," Huck said. "Get the kids away from lifting for a little bit."
Make no mistake, Huck knows the value of getting into the weight room regularly. "We met right before school let out to talk about the importance of (lifting)," he said. "Obviously it's a huge advantage to be stronger than your opponent."
Even with busy summer schedules, "the kids generally find time to get in the weight room," Huck said.
There's also a new rule in Ohio, Huck pointed out, that allows coaches to work with four players at a time throughout the summer so that at least a little bit of coaching can be done.
Huck also noted that Fort Frye will have its own team camp beginning July 21 that will take them into the beginning of practices. There will also be a youth camp from July 22-24 for players entering grades 3-8. Huck said the camps have always produced good turnouts and can be very productive as far as getting players ready for the season.
As far as the roster is concerned, the Cadets did lose some solid players to graduation, most notably all-state quarterback Chandler Lang.
"There's some big shoes to fill, but I think we have a lot of depth," Huck said. "I'm excited to see the kids battle for some of those positions."
NEW MATAMORAS - Frontier will compete in its first seven-on-seven scrimmage of the summer Saturday at Marietta College.
The Cougars have been working out and conditioning about three or four days a week, according to head coach Todd Bradford.
Earlier in June, the team had its helmet fitting where over 40 kids showed up.
"We should be up in numbers," Bradford said.
Like the other local teams, Frontier is expecting to have a minicamp near the end of July. Bradford said he challenged his players to take advantage of this offseason.
"The kids have responded," he said. "They understand what it takes to get to that next level. We've been on the verge for awhile."
Frontier expects to have the nucleus of its team back this fall, and with everyone having another year of experience under their belts, there is reason for optimism in Cougar-land. "I can't wait to see how it translates on the field," Bradford said.