The Super 25 Way: Bellevue continues to dominate

The Super 25 Way: Bellevue continues to dominate


The Super 25 Way: Bellevue continues to dominate


The hill on Wolverine Way is no joke. It’s only 100 yards, but it’s steep enough that the top isn’t visible from the bottom.

Every Thursday during the summer, the No.4 Bellevue (Bellevue, Wash.) Wolverines stood there, prepared to test and retest their will, strength and explosiveness. They’d jog up and down a couple of times as a warm-up for the real challenge, which involved running up as fast as possible — while pushing strength coach Tracy Ford’s Toyota Camry.  

Three at a time, players combined their strength and power, and each group ran for time. They’d all get mad, Ford says of the competition.

Bragging rights weren’t the only thing at stake. Pushing the car was part of the sweat-inducing process the Wolverines mastered as they worked to hopefully defend their 3A state title this season.

“You can’t quit,” Ford says. “The car’s in neutral, so it’s just going to roll back. This is conditioning your mind to not give up. If you do either, you’ll lose and fall.”

A metaphor for outworking opponents? You bet. At 11-0, that unfailing mindset seems to be working.

During the season, the team lifts once a week on Saturdays. The real training intensity is brought to the offseason, when players hit the weights six days a week.

Monday targets upper-body strength. Tuesday focuses on legs. Wednesday is all about recovery and stretching. The session is coupled with a big-time core workout involving med ball throws and twists, hanging knee raises, back extensions and plank holds with 45-pound plates on each athlete’s back.

Ford says Thursday is “the day the team hates me the most.” The workout focuses on conditioning and agilities with cone drills along with an upper body lift.

And then there’s Saturday, known as the Warrior Workout. It’s three circuits of timed chaos, which includes power cleans, clean to press, burpees, dumbbell burpees to shoulder press, a 200-yard recovery run while holding a 45-pound plate overhead and much more.

“Teams will outweigh us,” Ford says. “We have to be strong enough to move larger guys and conditioned enough to play both ways.”

Ford’s Warrior Workouts are integral to building strength and explosive power during the offseason. Part of the three-round circuit includes reverse bear crawls up the school’s stadium stairs.

“It’s very strenuous on your body,” Ford says. “The average athlete would quit.”

The crawl starts from an all-fours position — hands and feet on the ground with stomach facing up. Each player crabwalks backward, placing one hand on a stair at a time, followed by each foot moving in sync.

“It’s really tiring,” says senior Reuben Mwehla, who plays corner, receiver and running back. “The whole team gets mad sometimes. The exercise is crazy.”

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