Lobos competing in annual "Ironman"

Thu Feb 25, 2016
Prior to spring football practice the Lobos go through several tests to determine strength, speed, and explosive levels. All classes combine in tests for the 40-yard sprint, vertical jump, snatch lift, front squat lift, deadlift, power clean and back squat with the top scorer being named "Ironman."

So far, Josh Moon has set a school record in the front squat at 445 pounds, besting the 440-pound mark set by Marquies Hunter in 2014. Others have set personal bests, with Steven Skinner squatting 415 pounds and Ben Nguyen snatching 205 pounds.

LHS head strength and conditioning coach John Janecek said he has been impressed with the work ethic and dedication shown by his athletes, in upperclassmen as well as the freshmen.

"(The Ironman competition) is how we determine who has improved the most through hard work in the offseason," he said.

Janecek said scoring is done by place.

"If we have 100 kids testing, first place in each event gets one point, second gets two, and so forth," he said. "You want the lowest point total to be the winner. We have seven tests this year so a perfect score would be seven (7 first places).

A score in the 20s would potentially be a winning score, Janecek added.

"Most Ironman winners win with about a 25-35 total score," he said.

The contest rewards the all-around athlete, Janecek said, striking a balance between strength and agility.

"Big linemen often have an advantage in the weight room because they tend to be stronger, but not on the track or the vertical jump — where smaller skill positions will excel in the speed and jumping tests and must place as high as possible on the strength tests.

Longview athletic director John King said "games are won in the offseason," and the Ironman helps the athletes keep a competitive edge during a relative lull in football activity.

"(Ironman) is something our student look forward to and take a lot of pride in," he said. "It's something that encourages self-discipline, fostering good fitness and work habits that can stay with them well into their adult lives."