Buccaneers Olympics

Grand Haven football players test strength, speed, endurance
Matt DeYoung
Aug 8, 2014

New Buccaneers’ varsity football coach Jason Duram and his staff know that it’s what happens late in the game, in the fourth quarter, when kids are exhausted, banged up and beaten down, that games are won or lost.

That was the premise behind Thursday’s inaugural Buccaneer Football Olympics, a competition that presented Duram’s players with three weight lifting and three running drills. The grueling series of events tested kids’ strength, speed and endurance, and the resiliency they showed put a smile on Duram’s face.

“This is the first year we’ve done it, and this idea was stolen from some other schools,” Duram said. “We put our own little stamp on it. The coaches came together and chose the drills we wanted to do.

“Everything we did was based upon putting the guys under mental and physical stress. This wasn’t necessarily about max reps, but can you sustain it, do it for a lengthy period of time? A football game is more a marathon than a sprint. We wanted to see how our guys would do in the fourth quarter.”

The team was divided up into four categories, based on size: Cheetahs, Lions, Bulls and Rhinos. Each athlete was tested on bench press, squats and power clean, along with the 40-yard dash, a mile run, and a short obstacle course.

Approximately 40 kids participated — 10 in each division — and the top two athletes from each received medals for their accomplishment.

In the Cheetah division, Ashkii Wilson took home the gold while Drew Buursma earned the silver. Schaefer Thelen was the gold medalist for the Lions, with Jacob Kostner taking the silver.  Nick Mulcahy earned the gold in the Bulls division, with Chase Pego winning the silver. In the Rhinos weight class, Chase VanHoef was the gold medalist. Trevor Springer took home the silver.

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