FFE SPOTLIGHT: Blacksburg Bruins rally around weight room motivation during ‘Squatober’

The Bruins incorporated squat lifts throughout October team workouts with the goal of setting a new personal max by the end of the month.
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 11:13 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - At Blacksburg High School, the Bruins are not letting this fall without a season go to waste.

“You’re improving still and you’re improving in different ways than your football skill, and football skill can only take you so far," said senior lineman William Thomas. "Improving in the weight room improves everything.”

Like most other high school athletes in the Commonwealth, Blacksburg’s football players have put more of an emphasis on the weight room this fall.

And with no games to prep for, the Bruins were able to take part in the knee-bending party known as “Squatober.”

“Squats are my favorite lift, so it doesn’t get much better than a month of intensive squats,” said Thomas.

The premise was simple: incorporate squat lifts throughout October team workouts with the goal of setting a new personal max by the end of the month.

“The weight room is not always the most fun part of the football team," said senior wide receiver and safety Reed Kirk, "so just getting players excited to squat the most that they can, it kind of acted as a little bit of a substitute.”

Head coach Eddie Sloss said he’s wanted his team to participate in Squatobers past, but it was tough to do in-season.

Now, he’s seen it bring his team together in the absence of weekly competition.

“I’m going to tell you, that’s the first time I’ve ever been in a weight room where the emotions and the camaraderie were so high, nobody wanted to leave," said Sloss. "It was a Friday. Most people want to go home as soon as they’re done lifting, but it was such a great environment, such a great atmosphere because people were just feeling good about what was being accomplished and achieved that day.”

“The main thing for me was the support," added Thomas, "everyone cheering on everyone, it was great. It was great to see.”

Seniors like Thomas and Kirk say they feel even more of a responsibility this year to set an example in the weight room, to make sure the work being put in now pays off even after they’re gone.

“This is the offseason for two seasons from now," said Kirk. "We’ll have a season this year and then the younger guys below us are going to go right back into a season, so we need everybody out here working and getting better.”

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