SJO football going back to the basics


ST. JOSEPH (WCIA) — The St. Joseph-Ogden football team is taking advantage of its opportunity to keep things simple. Fifth-year head coach Shawn Skinner is going back to the basics; part out of necessity due to COVID-19 protocols, but he’s doing his best to encourage his athletes to focus on technique and fundamentals, rather than max lifts.

“The good thing is everybody else in the state is in the same boat, so we’re going a little bit slower than we normally would,” Skinner said on Friday morning during his team’s second workout in June.

The IHSA guidelines for summer contact days prohibit spotters during weightlifting to keep social distance, so it’s not like the Spartans can lift heavy to begin with. But rather than lifting fast, he wants his guys to go slow. That’s especially true for the freshmen. Skinner thinks this time can be vert beneficial for his new guys, who are learning how to lift.

“We’re able to teach in this capacity much differently than if they were trying to work in with the upperclassmen, so it’s kind of an old school feel from that standpoint and we’ve just kind of gone back to phase one, which is a good thing,” Skinner said.

St. Joseph-Ogden is working out three times per week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with three sessions. The players are split into groups of nine and placed into either an early morning, mid-day or evening group. The Spartans are coming off a 5-5 season and first round loss in the state playoffs.

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