Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed the weekend. We’ve got three stories for you.
1. Newtown wins state championship with walk-off touchdown on anniversary of Sandy Hook school shooting (Hartford Courant)
This is an incredible story. We rarely pick sides in state championship games, as we understand that EVERY team has a unique and inspiring story. But we had to make an exception in this one.
One the seven-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook (Conn.) school shooting, the high school team that had brothers of some of the elementary school students killed in the shooting won a state championship in walk-off fashion.
FINAL — Oh. My. God.
Street hits Riley Ward for a 36-yard game winning touchdown as time expires in the fourth quarter.
Newtown 13, Darien 7.
The Nighthawks (13-0) are your Class LL state champions. pic.twitter.com/qCIF3E5Ruu
— Shawn McFarland (@McFarland_Shawn) December 14, 2019
Some members of the team had attended Sandy Hook. Ben Pinto, whose younger brother Jack was killed in the shooting, plays linebacker for Newtown.
To honor the victims, Newtown supporters were largely clad in green apparel and face paint to honor the Sandy Hook victims. The cheerleaders wore green bows atop their head. Many Newtown players had green tape, paint or apparel on their person somewhere. Even fans from Darien wore green.
Pattison credited the Newtown school and community for the support the team had received not just Saturday, but all season long. It was a celebration for the entire town, many thought, and not just the members of the football program.
“The whole town showed out on this special night,” said senior Jared Dunn. “We knew we had to bring it home for our town. 27 years, it’s crazy. This is crazy.”
Give Darien credit for playing the role of gracious runner-up. We hope to see them back in the big game next year.
While a State 🏈 Championship loss is never easy to swallow, the joy it is bringing @newtownfootball and the entire #Newtown community is certainly numbing our pain. #NightHawkPride #FootballBrothers https://t.co/pdXdMGGT7r
— Darien Blue Wave Football (@DHSBWfootball) December 15, 2019
What’s the most inspiring win you’ve seen this season?
2. “Building Monsters”: Football, food, and fitness at Princeton (The Daily Princetonian)
This seems like an aggressive goal for the Princeton coaching staff, but apparently it has worked to the tune of a 17-game winning streak.
When it comes to new players, the coaching staff encourages an immediate, steady loss of body fat and a steady accumulation of poundage. “Gaining half a pound a week, that’s 26 pounds a year,” said Princeton coach Bob Surace.
With that goal in mind, Princeton’s football players require vast quantities of food to fuel themselves, even for a day. That caloric phenomenon is universally recognized. Less understood is the particular process these players use to gain mass in muscle, not fat.
If there existed a general rule for the “Princeton Football Dining Plan,” it would be this: take what a health-conscious person would eat. Then double, triple, and quadruple it. If you are prone to stomach aches, skip this section.
Tufo’s meal recommendation for his players is simple: “protein for muscle repair and growth, carbohydrates for energy and brain function, fruits and veggies for vitamins and antioxidants to build the body up from the inside out.”
Summer weight gain proves more difficult.
In summers, 50 to 60 football players stay on campus, train hard, and sweat buckets — all without a meal plan. Over the course of the break, players who carefully achieved their ideal weights often watch as their hard-earned pounds slip away.
Fortunately, the coaches are aware of the difficulties that summer training presents to their players. Surace said he personally ensures that players are adequately refueling their bodies after long, hot practices.
“Very often when practice ends,” he said, “if I know this is going to be a really hard practice, they’re getting smoothies at the end of practice.”
How do you help your players gain weight in a good way?
3. Why D1 Football Players Are Training With the Triple Jump (American Football International Review)
The triple jump takes an absurd amount of power, coordination, balance and athleticism, and the forces at play are impressive. Not only do elite male triple jumpers hit speeds of up to 10.5 meters per second during their run-up, but they can exert a force of up to 22 times their own body weight during the landing between the first and second jumps. Those types of actions are difficult to replicate inside a weight room, and there’s reason to believe team sport athletes can see serious benefit from integrating triple jump-style drills into their training.
— Eric Donoval (@edonoval) July 15, 2019
“When you look at the triple jump specifically, they’re some of the most explosive, most powerful, most elastic athletes in track,” Donoval said.
“Some of these triple jumpers are really, really fast. So those qualities are something that, in my opinion, are very important for skill position players—the receivers, the DBs,” he said. “The Standing Triple Jump challenges coordination, it really increases power and elasticity in a unilateral fashion, which is really important for acceleration. The horizontal force vectors, the ground contact times that those movements have, really mimc and improve the qualities you need for acceleration.”
What track and field training have you incorporated into your program?