Prior to entering high school, Mike Favreau had never really worked out.
Playing football at Danvers High as a ninth-grader, though, he began to get used to the weight room atmosphere. Being around that environment his freshman and sophomore years made Favreau realize the conditioning and workout commitments he needed to make to take the next step in his gridiron development.
“I needed to make it my own,” said Favreau, a senior captain for the Falcons who will lead his team into the sparkling New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium (10 a.m.) to meet archrival Gloucester in their annual holiday clash.
“Starting after my sophomore season, I started running a lot and was in the weight room all the time,” added the 18-year-old Favreau, a starting defensive end. “That offseason conditioning has really put me where I am today. And I have to give a lot of the credit to the guys who came before me and showed me what it meant to train in the offseason.”
The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder has been able to beat faster opponents with his technique, while getting past bigger, stronger foes with his quickness. A relentless motor keeps him on the field and his work ethic, which head coach Sean Rogers calls “second to none,” is a reason why he’s one of three captains that go out for the coin clip before every game.
“Mike’s the kind of kid where you can say he literally built himself into a football captain,” said Rogers, whose team takes a 7-3 record into the holiday against the 6-4 Fishermen. “He bought into the weight-room program, all the conditioning drills and sacrifice it takes throughout the year. In doing so, he made himself into a captain and one of the best defensive ends in the Northeastern Conference, all in an undersized body.