The Green Wave players had a full offseason of coach Jason Dunlap's program. Will it pay off?
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Jason Dunlap took over as the head coach of the Father Lopez football team on May 1, 2011, on the first day of spring practice, not giving him enough time to implement the offseason strength and conditioning program he wanted.
This past offseason, the Green Wave players were introduced to that program. Now Dunlap is hoping it will pay dividends.
“We’re a young team,” Dunlap said. “We have three seniors on the team. Last year we had three seniors on the team. Basically, we have been trying to get the younger kids up to speed, because we play freshmen here. A lot of teams don’t play freshmen. We have freshmen playing and playing well — at a very high level.”
The Monday after the Green Wave’s final game last year, Dunlap had his players in the weight room. He knew how important it was to have them in his program throughout the winter. And he knew there was another side of the game that his players needed to work on.
“The most significant thing we’ve seen is that our kids have bought in,” Dunlap said. “They understand that they have to be weightlifters first and football players second.”
Dunlap said he plans to start about four freshmen. And to do so, Dunlap said he needed them to be physically prepared for the demanding varsity-level competition.
The freshmen aren’t the only young players that Dunlap will be relying on to contribute. With only three seniors on the team, it’ll be the sophomores and juniors who will be asked to step up, as well.
Having a young roster can cause a lot of problems for a team. And there are few better stabilizers than solid play on the offensive and defensive lines.
“We have a pretty large line,” Dunlap said. “And we’re going to be able to overpower a lot of teams because of that.”
Dunlap said that like most of his players, many of the offensive and defensive players go both ways, another factor that increases the importance of productive offseason strength and conditioning program.