One of many traditions for Cougar football, the Midnight Lift end of the summer final weight room session went off as scheduled on Aug. 1.
Junior varsity head coach Andrew Beam said he was very pleased with the finale, which capped off a busy summer.
“By far it was our biggest turnout,” Beam said of seeing 72 football players attend the late night session. “We set the date way in advance and we think it’s a great team bonding conclusion to our summer.”
Players from all levels, incoming freshmen to seniors, took part in the midnight lift, working through a variety of stations and routines over more than two hours. They started about 10 p.m. on Monday evening, Aug. 1 and concluded after midnight.
“We start at 10 p.m. and we lift until midnight,” Beam explained. “High intensity stations where we are just pushing the guys, pushing them past their comfort zone.”
After the lifting, the group spends another half hour or so hearing about the Escalon Cougar football tradition, viewing a highlight film of the past several years – which have included a State Championship along with several Section crowns and unbelievable come-from-behind victories.
“We show them the successes this program has had, in order to get them motivated,” noted Beam. “It helps them understand who they are playing for.”
Beam said some of the highlights are from games including a four OT contest against Los Banos, a ‘Hail Mary’ catch to clinch a win against Calaveras, and a playoff win against Placer in the pouring rain.
“It is fun to watch, that’s for sure,” Beam admitted.
Players had the chance to play in a number of seven on seven competitions throughout the summer as well, Beam added, including facing off with some Division I programs.
“Seeing high quality opponents like Pitman, Chavez of Stockton, Ceres, Central Catholic, Lincoln of Stockton, that really helps us defensively,” Beam said.
The first day of practice for teams was this past Monday, Aug. 8 with Mark Loureiro returning for another season as varsity head coach, Beam leading the JV, and Roger Beeman leading the freshman squad.