MIDDLEBURG – With a storied history of football in the family, Luke and Logan Padgett seem destined to be the next two football leaders at Middleburg High School football, according to Middleburg High coach Karl Smeltzer after a second week of Virus-restricted conditioning and weightlifting sessions.
“We did a weightlifting test of most of our guys where we set a bench mark for their strength levels prior to the season,” said Smeltzer. “I was pleasantly surprised that our guys stayed with the programs we got to them whether with weights or with body-weight exercises.”
Smeltzer, who noted nearly 80 players in attendance for the sessions, said his Zoom and technology efforts prior to the sessions on the field started seemed to take hold.
“One of our first questions in our Zoom meetings was their availability to either a gym, some weights or neither,” said Smeltzer. “Our coaches developed a six-week set of exercises and workouts for the different levels opportunities each athlete would have. Then we let them take control of their preparedness and I’m very pleased.”
On the fields, which featured weightlifting sessions and drills with footballs as opposed to just conditioning from week one, Smeltzer noted returners Stone Newsome and the Padgett boys leading the team in getting through the sessions while Tyler Rayfuss, a returning lineman, being impressive.
“It’s a little more difficult to get any football teaching done, but it is what it is,” said Smeltzer. “The sessions are 21 minutes apiece. The first week was four different stations in the corners of the field. This week, we broke up into groups by position.”
One aspect that Smeltzer cited as a good benchmark for the fall was the excitement level.
“Kids are kids and just want to be on the field,” said Smeltzer. “Most of them; we’ll have a young team, understood that a lot of the preparation would be on them.”
One graduated athlete that got a late scholarship was former running back Laron Bryant, who signed to play at Kentucky Christian University.
“They came in late and Laron really liked them,” said Smeltzer.