Sports

Wolves already bulking up for another run

The Monday after the South Kitsap football season came to an end, coach D.J. Sigurdson happened across a number of players waiting for him to unlock the door to the school’s weight room.

Two days removed from the earliest end to a South Kitsap season in 23 years, there was the future, ready to go to work.

“They didn’t even wait (for the offseason program to start),” Sigurdson said. “I gave them ’til after Thanksgiving, and there was 20 of them that couldn’t wait that long. They were standing outside the weight room on Monday, the day after we came back after getting beat by Mountain View (a 26-19 loss on Nov. 8). And they were predominately young kids.”

That’s just exactly what Sigurdson wants to see. Even if the timing is a bit unusual.

“We don’t normally start our off-season program until after Christmas,” Sigurdson said. “This year, we’re coming in just after Thanksgiving. That’s a little bit different for us.”

The Wolves have not ended their season this early since 1979. This year’s loss to Mountain View snapped a 23-year string of Class 4A state playoff appearances.

But the juniors on the team are determined to get the Wolves back where they belong.

“We all saw what happened this past season,” junior running back Anthony Galloway said. “And we’re trying now to make next year a better season.

“We’re just trying to go out and make it a better season, go out and try to make it the best season we can,” Galloway said. “It’s hard work, but we know what we put into it, we’ll get out of it.”

The offseason program will see the kids lift year round, all the way up to August, but there is more focus on weights during the winter. Spring brings a focus on quickness and agility.

“Basically, we’re just trying to improve core strength right now, that’s it,” Sigurdson said. “We’re trying to improve their hip strength. It’s basically to work our core strength, not bigger arms, not bigger legs. We’re just working on getting our core stronger, which is the hip area. So we do a lot of squats and cleans and mainly just lifting in the winter.”

The class Sigurdson oversees is voluntary. It begins after school and is open to anyone who wants to take it, but it is dominated by mostly football players.

“Overall, it’s fun,” Dylan Pierce said. “We have a good time and joke around a little but for the most part, it’s pretty serious. Everybody takes it seriously.”

Pierce, who played some cornerback for the Wolves this past year, was one of those who showed up early ready to work. He says that kind of work ethic is evident among his teammates.

“It hasn’t been lacking too much (since the loss). Everybody is just eager to get into the weight room,” Pierce said. “It’s fun to challenge yourself and improve on what you did previously.”

Sigurdson, who along with coach Joey Dame, oversees all aspects of the program, said he can sense some extra incentive this year.

“A little bit, there’s a general feeling of not being happy with finishing the way we could have,” Sigurdson said. “It’s early yet and we’re young. We’re so young.”

The offseason program remains basically the same as it was under Ed Fisher, who coached the Wolves from 1975-1996.

But Sigurdson has made a few changes, most notably dividing the group up into teams and assigning a soon-to-be senior as team leader.

“I grouped them up, trying to build a little bit more responsibility into the (up-coming) seniors,” Sigurdson said. “Every senior is going to have a chance to be a team leader before the season actually starts.”

The teams, all led by juniors, will be graded on two criteria, attendance and weightlifting. The teams have until the end of February to incrase their maximum weight lifted in three lifts — squats, cleans and bench press.

Most of the team members had an established weight in the three lifts set from last year. They will try to improve on that number. Those who did not participate last year established a weight last week and will go from there.

The class will see kids lift weights Monday, Wednesday and Fridays until March 1, when spring sports begin.

The class will continue to lift but will focus more on he agility portion of the program. It follows the same lines, using speed instead of weight. And Sigurdson has seen some guys step it up already.

“Jeff Coulon has been doing a good job of being consistent and working hard in the weight room,” Sigurdson said. “These guys (Galloway, Pierce and Kevin Crouse, all of whom had just come back from running stairs) are doing a good job.”

Although Sigurdson is happy with his off-season program, he is open to exploring other options.

“Anytime there’s a clinic or someone’s offer something, I try to go listen to them talk,” Sigurdson said. “There’s stuff out there I’d like to have. There are a few things out there that other guys are doing that interest me.

“But I think we do a good job here,” Sigurdson said. “The numbers are good and the gains we’re making are comparable or better (to the rest of the state). And our kids are working hard.”

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