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Panther football team hits weights
Some of the Liberty County Panther football prospects hit their newly renovated weight room and pump iron as they hope to gain strength and grow physically as they prepare for the next football season. - photo by Photo by Patty Leon/Coastal Courier
The Liberty County Panthers started summer football conditioning June 2 and are focusing on getting in top shape regarding speed and physical strength.
Panther wide receiver coach, Greg Martin, said that speed is only one factor when preparing his receivers.
"Well they have to have that strength to get up and battle for the ball," he said as he explained how weight lifting benefited the position. "It gives them strength in their hands to grip the ball. It allows them to fight for the yardage, break through tackles and things like that."
The Panthers will have the added bonus of experienced depth in the wide receiver position this season.
"We have all but one of our re-ceivers returning from last season," he said. "Five will be seniors this season."
While strength will help the receiver barrel through the defenders and fight for the ball Martin knows it also takes technique and form to bring the ball in.
"Outside they work on their agility and their cuts," he explained. "They learn how to break on the ball and we teach them the plays."
The Panthers are meeting Monday through Thursday for two hours of conditioning that includes some time in their newly renovated weight room and some time outdoors.
The coaching staff makes sure everyone follows proper form and function when lifting the weights to reduce the risk of injury and maximize the benefits the weight lifting and power lifting provide.
The Panthers tend to lack depth in their offensive line. They lost most of their line last season, and will need to rebuild the positions essential to protecting the quarterback. Hitting the plates and doing the power lift and snatch will help develop their body mass and develop their confidence to take on the defensive line head on.
The coaching staff considers the conditioning and weight training done during the summer to be just as critical as a regular practice session. They say it prepares the players to be physically capable of withstanding the hits they may take on the field while reducing the risk of injury. Being prepared physically will allow them to also sharpen their mental focus on the strategies and plays.
Official football practice starts in August.

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