LeBlond Receives Military Guidance through Morning Workout

By Matt Tritten | mtritten@kq2.com

Published 07/16 2014 05:48PM

Updated 07/16 2014 07:31PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Bishop LeBlond football team received a surprise as they arrived at the school for their Wednesday morning workout.

"Everyone was kind of freaked out. They didn't know what to expect," senior Connor Haynes said.

But it didn't take long for them to find out.

The Eagle coaching staff invited active duty Marines to the field for a different kind of conditioning.

"It's all about realizing that your body can endure a lot more than you think you can," Major Al Butler of the United States Marine Corps said. "It's not until you get pushed to that point that you're able to see that that's the case."

"Coach Dudik's definitely got some fire," LeBlond senior Jack Schanze said. "And these Marines have some fire too. It really helps you bring out the best in yourself."

Crawling all over the field, carrying teammates on their backs and running with 30 pound ammo boxes can be draining.

"The body's just really fatigued. Tired of this whole workout," Haynes said.

But each player comes away with a confidence boost.

"Afterward you feel like you've accomplished something. You really feel good mentally," Schanze said. "Physically your obviously drained, but you feel good about yourself."

Major Butler says the lessons valued in the Marines were first taught to them by their high school coaches. Putting athletes through workouts like this give them the chance to pay it forward.

"Getting out here and doing this stuff with these guys is kind of our opportunity to give back and showcase the things their coaches are teaching them will carry them far, not only in football, but also in life."

After overcoming one of the most grueling morning practices they'll ever experience, the Eagles have a better idea of just how far they can push themselves. And LeBlond believes it will pay off on Friday nights this fall.

"I think that when we play teams like the Savannahs, the Maryvilles, the Lafayettes, the teams in our city, all that stuff, I think that it brings out the real competitive edge in us," Schanze said. "And I don't think we're going to have a problem against those guys at all. We definitely have the utmost respect for them, but we're going to take it to them."

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