Manistee football summer workout program in full swing – Manistee News Advocate

Manistee football summer workout program in full swing – Manistee News Advocate

MANISTEE – Manistee football doesn’t kick off the season until Aug. 26 against Holton, but it’s never too early for preparation.

The Chippewas are amid a productive strength and conditioning program that occurs three times a week and twice daily, once in the morning and again in the afternoon for anyone who couldn’t make it. 

“Anecdotally, I could talk about the necessity to lift and how it creates speed and all those items that is a qualitative measure based on observation,” Chips head coach Troy Bytwork said. “But, I’m more of a quantitative guy in that you look at a kid like Isaiah Davis who is a sophomore, and he’s squatting 500 (pounds) and benching 340 (pounds).”

The progress made in the offseason equates to additional fortitude deep into the fourth quarter.

“Those types of numbers provide speed and more muscular endurance late in games,” said Bytwork. “We talk a lot about that. Anyone can play in the first quarter or even the second quarter theoretically because they are relatively young and in somewhat good shape.

“But you win games in the second half.”

The importance of working towards a common goal over the summer cannot be understated as Bytwork keeps track of individual player accomplishments.

“We have a board in our weight room with 300-pound squatters, 200-pound benchers, 400-pound dead-lifters, and 200-pound power cleaners,” he said. “That’s a pretty normal measurement as far as determining how strong someone is getting.”

Bytwork continued, “Over the last two years, that board is full to a point now where our bench column, which has 28 rows, is all current kids because it’s a historical board. So, there are names on there from nine years ago when I first got here … that’s meaningful because we are getting collectively stronger.”

More importantly, the Chippewas are continuing to build confidence, a strong work ethic, and ultimately feeling good about themselves.

Bytwork says Eric Smith, a former Manistee wide receiver who plays tight end at Olivet College, is a prime example of someone who benefitted from the Chips program.

“For him, we would talk about it a lot because we spent a lot of time together between lifting and driving him home after school,” said Bytwork. “Lifting changed his life, and that’s a testament to the kids and I try to push them as best I can. That’s my job and I love that job, but they have to make a decision to do it.

“When they finally do it, it shows them they can do something.”

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