The intensity of David Weybright’s workout was evident in his sweat-soaked shirt. His teammates around him had the same look.
“The fact that we went 0-10 last year drives everyone,” Weybright said after a summer conditioning session at the Big Red Building.
The Houston football team is already working toward putting last year’s winless season behind them with an offseason of hard work under new coach Chris Edwards. About 40 players participate in one of three sessions three times per week. Each lasts about two hours.
It’s clear that things have changed for the Tigers under Edwards. The players say they are being pushed harder than last season, and Edwards sees them responding.
“They haven’t batted an eye,” said Edwards, who spent the previous three seasons at Versailles. “They come in and work hard, and it’s a great bunch of kids. We’re getting stronger and quicker.”
Edwards’ workout, which he said includes principals from Bigger, Faster, Stronger and the University of Missouri football team, focuses on the entire body. Not only does he want the players to be strong, Edwards wants them to be quicker and more agile.
After warming up, sessions begin in the parking lot with a series of short sprints around orange cones. Then it’s inside to jump rope and pitter-patter through a rope ladder. All focus on foot speed.
In the weight room, Edwards leads the players through an ab workout with little rest between repetitions. Players then follow a workout sheet of lifts that includes clings and squats.
Sophomore Brad Pounds said the workouts were more organized under Edwards, who Pounds said was a strong motivator.
“He’s real enthusiastic,” Pounds said. “If you’re not giving a full effort, he’ll get in your face or kick you in the butt.”
Minus a one-week break during the Fourth of July, Edwards has kept his team busy the entire summer. The Tigers’ second camp is next week and two-a-days will begin in August.
“We needed this with all that happened last year – someone that comes in and takes charge and makes sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do,” Weybright said.
“Coach Edwards is a good coach. He’s working hard and making us work hard.”