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Lanett football focuses on being ‘elite’ in workouts

LANETT — The defending 2A State Champion Lanett Panthers continued its football summer workouts on Tuesday morning.

The team was split into two groups with each group maxing each other out in the weight room for about 40 minutes before heading outside to the practice field to run suicides for another 20 minutes.

“It was a good day,” Lanett offensive coordinator Chip Seagle said. “They’ve done really well with the conditioning both days. We ran them pretty well on Monday and today [Tuesday] they came back today. We have 47 kids and we’ve had about 40-something kids show up both days. The ones who weren’t here, we know where they were.”

The first group wrapped up their session running on the field as temperatures began to rise outside into the 80s. Senior tackle A.J. Jackson hyped up the unit as they prepared to run again by telling them that champions work hard. The first group ended up running another suicide just because they wanted to.

A few minutes later, the second group of the day piled into the 20×30 foot weight room ready to get to work. Older players greeted the younger students who were already using the weights before beginning themselves. Teammates spotted one another at different stations of power cleaning, squatting and bench pressing.

The players alternate using the weights since the day only focused on maxing. On the typical workout day, the players will have in-between lifting to do. Inspirational quotes and team sayings cover the walls as coaches encourage the athletes to push themselves even more. No athlete was exempt from being called out by the coaches during the session, including senior receiver Tifton “Dee” Dobbs or the nationally-ranked athletes Kristian “Ken-Ken” Story and Trikweze Bridges.

“You can’t treat them any different,” Seagle said. “We’ve coached them just as hard as we’ve coached them in 2010 and we’re going to coach them that way in 2018. Our thing isn’t talking about championships, we don’t talk about making all-state, we don’t talk about winning the region. We don’t talk about winning football games. We talk about being elite.

What is elite? Being the best version of yourself. How do you become elite? Be better today than you were yesterday. Be better tomorrow than you were today. If you do that, then championships take care of themselves.”

As the players began to slow down at the end of running suicides in the rising heat closing into noon, Seagle reminded them that they weren’t giving an elite effort.

Lanett was a part of a Quad-Spring scrimmage last month at Beauregard and was part of a 26-20 win. In last year’s championship season, the Panthers posted a 15-0 record. Lanett’s first game of the 2018 season is on Aug. 24 against Valley High School.