Off-season high school athletes prefer working out over laying out

Emily West and Emily West

High school students know the last day of school like the back of their hand. They anticipate it, count down to it, and make extravagant plans for the long summer ahead.

Unfortunately not everyone is lucky enough to have long lazy months of relaxation.

For some students the month of May is anything but a break. Even though most colleges are already on summer break, local high schools are still in session until June and several high school sports teams are in full swing most of the summer.

Anyone who is involved in one of Bowling Green High School’s athletic programs has learned that summer isn’t a vacation at all.

Sport teams like football and soccer, traditionally active in the fall, are already training for the next school year.

Varsity football players are expected to do weight lifting three times a week after school. Over summer vacation they have to participate in different types of training even though school and the season doesn’t start until August.

But preseason training does have benefits.

“The harder you work in the off season, the better you are in the season,” said Norm Simon, a current varsity football player.

Staying active during the summer may be the key to success during the actual season.

“I worked my butt off every summer for soccer,” said MariJane Tripp, a senior at BGHS. “I had no free time, but I got stronger.”

Training for sports keeps high school students like Tripp and Simon very busy. Simon said right now the normal football player puts in about 4 hours a week. He already puts in more than 12 hours a week, and plans to work even more once school is out.

“I enjoy working out over the summer because it gives me an edge over the people who slack off,” Simon said.

He plans to use his high school experience to play at the college level after graduates in 2008.

His mom, Deb Simon, agrees that being active over the summer is a good thing.

“Norm is totally dedicated to the football program,” she said. “The reason he played varsity as a sophomore was because he put in the extra time.”

Keeping in shape over the summer may be time consuming, but most athletes like Trip are more than willing to devote the time to improve their game.