Shortly after Shawn Theriault was hired as the new head football coach at Danvers High School in February, he got his new players into the weight room to do some tests and see where they stood physically.
Two of his players could clean over 200 pounds. Eight of them could squat over 300 pounds.
Fast forward four months and you can see how the Falcons have embraced Theriault’s approach to workouts. Now he has 15 players who can lift 200 pounds or more up to their clavicles, while 19 others can squat 300 pounds or better.
“There’s a lot of improvement and a lot more explosiveness from all of us,” said defensive back and wideout Cris Valles, one of four Falcon captains for the upcoming 2014 season. “Coach said he’s already seen a ton of improvement.”
“There’s a whole new energy in the weight room,” added fellow captain Chris Behen, a running back and defensive back.
Theriault said he brought with him to Danvers approaches and exercises he’s learned from various colleges and studies. His players are doing a lot of Olympic lifts: clean and jerk, squats, front squats, bench and the like. Lifting lighter weights but doing more reps helps his players achieve the explosiveness they’re after.
“One of the things coach is really stressing is that you can get more athletic, cut, faster and more explosive doing it this way,” captain and quarterback Nick Andreas said. “You can move more freely on the football field. We do a lot of body weight stuff, and for me all my Olympic lifts have gone up considerably.”
“I’m noticing more flexibility, more explosion and more strength in my lifts,” another captain, defensive back and wideout Richie Martino, noted. “My time in the 40 (yard dash) has improved, too. So something is obviously working.”