After falling out of the Super 25 Rankings, Moeller (Cincinnati) battled back. The Crusaders claim the No. 24 spot this week after defeating Whitmer (Toledo) in the Division I state football championship game on Saturday. It's Moeller's eighth title and the first since 1985.
It won’t be long before the Crusaders (12-3) return to the weight room to begin the preparation for defending their title next season.
What’s behind the team’s blueprint for success? We went one-on-one with Moeller coach John Rodenberg to find out.
Tell us how you plan the team’s training program.
In Ohio, we have to take 28 days off from the last football game. [During that time], I’ll get together with my strength coach and prepare for next season’s strength and conditioning.
We’ll look at where we had injuries. One year it was back, one year it was shoulders — every year there’s something that’s a thread among the team. My strength coach will research that, and we’ll put together our strength book for the season.
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We also take our strength and conditioning booklet to at least two to three colleges and maybe a pro team. We let them take a look at it, and we get ideas for things that we’re doing.
How often are your athletes in the weight room?
We work out four days a week during the school year — Mondays and Fridays in the morning and Tuesdays and Thursdays [in the afternoon]. The summer is four days a week, from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Once the season begins, we go two days a week, offense on Mondays, defense on Tuesdays and whole team lifts on Saturdays after film.
How important is recovery, and how do you help ensure players stay healthy?
We’re really proactive on nutrition. I really encourage our guys to bring a protein shake or bar to practice because the 20 minutes after a workout is huge. We try to always give our guys the latest updates on [nutrition] and when to eat. We also talk about sleep and make sure our guys get plenty of rest. During double sessions in the summer, we provide ice baths.
What’s one update you intend to integrate into your team’s training?
I’m intrigued with stretching. Some things NFL players are doing are not necessarily gaining strength, but really working on their flexibility. We’re going to bring in a pilates or yoga instructor during summer. This is just another way to add change and give our guys another avenue to be better.