Manistee football summer training program in full swing

MANISTEE – Manistee football doesn’t start the season until August 26 against Holton, but it’s never too early to prepare.

The Chippewas are in the middle of a productive strength and conditioning program that takes place three times a week and twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon for those who couldn’t make it.

“Anecdotally, I could talk about the need to lift and how that creates speed and all of those things that are a qualitative measurement based on observation,” the Chips head coach said. , Troy Bytwork. “But, I’m more of a quantitative guy in that you look at a kid like Isaiah Davis who’s in second grade, and he squats 500 (pounds) and benches 340 (pounds).”


Progress in the offseason equals extra courage in the fourth quarter.

“These types of numbers provide speed and greater muscular endurance in the late game,” Bytwork said. “We talk about it a lot. Anyone can play the first quarter or even the second quarter theoretically because they’re relatively young and in pretty good shape.

“But you win games in the second half.”

The importance of working towards a common goal over the summer cannot be underestimated as Bytwork keeps track of individual player achievements.

“We have a plank in our weight room with 300-pound squatters, 200-pound benchers, 400-pound deadlifters and 200-pound powerhouses,” he said. “It’s a pretty normal measure of how strong someone is getting.”

Bytwork continued: “Over the past two years, this table has been full to a point now where our bench column, which has 28 rows, is made up of all the current children because it’s a historical table. So it there are names on it nine years ago when I first came here… it’s meaningful because we are collectively getting stronger.”

Most importantly, the Chippewas continue to build confidence, a strong work ethic and ultimately feel good about themselves.

Bytwork says Eric Smith, a former Manistee wide receiver who plays tight end at Olivet College, is a prime example of someone who has benefited from the Chips program.

“For him, we talked about it a lot because we spent a lot of time together between picking him up and bringing him home after school,” Bytwork said. “Weightlifting has changed his life, and it’s a testament to the kids and I try to push them the best I can. It’s my job and I love that job, but they have to make a decision to do it.

“When they finally do, it shows them they can do something.”

Ryan H. Bowman