Hitting the weight room: Concord football already gearing up for fall season


Monitor staff

Published: 04-01-2023 11:00 AM

Music blasts. Weights slam. Football players yell.

It might only be early spring, but Concord football players cram into the high school’s weight room, already working to get in shape for the upcoming season this fall.

Three days during week, the athletes have the option to work out there after school. On Saturday’s, they recently started speed and agility training.

The weight training began after the winter holidays and runs through the rest of the school year before the team hits the field over the summer.

At their peak, roughly 40 kids showed up to these sessions before spring sports began and some of the players had to put their football training on hold.

“Obviously we want them to improve their strength and improve their conditioning,” said head coach Jim Corkum. “But still being a team and being together is just as valuable in making sure that they’re keeping that football connection throughout the year.”

The Tide finished the 2022 season 5-4 in NHIAA play, losing in the preliminary round of the Division I playoffs to Timberlane. It was Concord football’s first playoff appearance in eight years.

Corkum’s optimistic that they can keep that momentum rolling into 2023.

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“I hope that (playoff appearance) will lead to some increase in numbers,” he said. “I brought a few of the high school guys with me to help talk to the middle schoolers because they’re the best ambassadors for the program. We just want to keep increasing the numbers and keep (adding) the kids that can help us be competitive.”

With 19 seniors graduating from last year’s team, Corkum will also be relying on some of the younger players in the program to take on expanded roles.

Current sophomore Malik Ahmed just wrapped up his first season playing football. An offensive tackle and defensive lineman, he’s preparing to be thrust into more playing time.

“Something I’m trying to improve on is memorizing my plays, my blocking and maybe being more aggressive this season,” he said.

Freshman Isaiah Puckett also looks to play a key role on the varsity team as a lineman.

The weight training provides great opportunity for him to continue to stay engaged with the program and build camaraderie with his teammates.

“I never really hit the gym a lot, so being here is definitely helping,” he said. “It’s really nice to just be around the people that you’re going to be with the rest of the year.”

Throughout the spring, the team will also head outside occasionally for some 7-on-7 drills to mix in with the weight training. Once the school year ends in June, football becomes a four-day-per-week affair at minimum.

But for right now, it’s about just putting themselves in as strong a position as possible to be physically ready for the demand of the fall season.

“We’re happy with the excitement and what’s coming for the program right now,” Corkum said. “We want to just continue to build on that and make sure we’re getting the right kids out here, and that they’re all working hard and being good teammates. That’s what it’s all about.”