By: Drew Mandeville
With the fall and winter sports long finished, the spring teams find themselves preparing for the end of the season and the school year. As the summer approaches, next year’s teams will begin rigorous off-season training for an improved chance at a competitive season.
Following a loss in the consolation game for the District 10 playoffs, the boys basketball team looks to produce another winning season and another deep playoff run. The basketball team has off-season summer league seasons to keep players in live games where they play tough competition in order to grow and keep playing. Many Eisenhower players also participate in AAU basketball, as most of the players play for Dribble Kings Training, Bernard Edwards Training, and Russell Rebels. Bernard Edwards spent time last summer trained with Eisenhower players while they worked on shooting, ballhandling, and 1-on-1 drills to allow players to use their creativity to score efficiently. Coach Mangini places lots of emphasis on building muscle and getting faster to play against faster and stronger competition. He also understands that the team can succeed if every player is well-rounded and can do a little bit of everything. Summer league games help players as they can work on decision making and in-game issues that can only be worked on with other players on the court.
The track team builds the abilities of their members by holding off-season practices where they stay running, tasking long distance or challenging sprinting workouts to make themselves faster. They push themselves in workouts throughout the summer to become more talented and athletic. Coach John Mandeville discussed the workouts saying, “…we are trying to get different groups [by event] to work on strength, speed and endurance. We’ll also have opportunities for specific event training.” The track team looks to build on the rising success of the players who are near the district qualifying time. Coach Mandeville highlighted his expectations for next season saying, “We are losing a lot of seniors and will have a young team next year, but our expectations never change. If we put in effort to win the region every year, we can sleep knowing we gave our best efforts and put up a lot of personal records and district qualifiers in the process.” The focus of the off-season was made clear as Coach Mandeville explained it as, “Getting a core group of kids to buy in, workout the summer, and then maintain that throughout the year.”
The football team has been putting in off-season training for a while. The football team looks to build off playoff experiences to keep a relevant roster. During the off-season training, the players lift weights to build strength and power and participate in scrimmages so that they can get a feel for game situations and better each other. Football pushes their team to work hard in the off-season so they can build off of what teams of the past have achieved.
Fall sports place lots of emphasis on off-season work, as they don’t have a sport before them to allow their players to go off the bat with some preparation. The soccer team holds kick arounds to allow players to work on base skills and improve their shooting, passing, and defense. Like the basketball team, many of the players participate on indoor soccer leagues in the winter and play for Kinzua to participate in games during the spring and summer months.
With all the teams working hard in the off-season to better themselves, The Squire is excited to watch these teams next school year.