Owens pledges players will get better with the Edge
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

June 3, 2006 - With summer starting and kids going their separate ways for the next two months, Greg Owens wanted them to stop long enough to let a promise sink in.

Come to summer workouts, he told them, and you will get better.

Owens, the SSHS head football coach and athletic director, and some of his assistants will run a strength and conditioning program for all athletes entering the ninth through 12th grades from 6-8 a.m. Monday through Thursday for seven weeks.

The workouts, for boys and girls, are not mandatory and not sport specific which meets UIL guidelines. 

"If kids will come and they'll commit, they're going to get stronger and they're going to get faster," Owens said. "We're going to put it in their lap. This is the opportunity for them to get better and for our teams to get better."

The program, called The Edge, will focus on explosive movements to build speed and strength. Boys and girls will be divided into groups, and ninth-graders will be separated from those already in high school.

"The kids are kind of fired up about it, I think, because it's going to get them in great shape with explosiveness. It's more of an explosive speed thing that we can do in our athletic period," Owens explained. "I'm about speed and explosion. You need to have a base, and hopefully we've gotten that through our offseason stuff, but now this is more season ready. Those kids who are coming up with fall sports, this will help get them ready."

He said because there is a two-hour window each day, rather than the one hour athletic period, The Edge will allow the coaches to slow down the training, allow more time between repetitions and try some innovative exercises like running hills and bleachers to build speed.

"Those are things we can't do in offseason because of time constraints," he said. "In the weight room, it's going to be somewhat of an offseason setting, but it'll be a little different. We're going to be getting into some explosive movements. We're going to dedicate one whole day to nothing but squats, and it's going to be a high rep thing. We'll build bulk and build strength, and we'll do the same type thing with hang cleans and power cleans."

The Edge will be open just once a day because Owens wants all of the athletes there at one time to bond and encourage each other. The weight room will be open until about noon each day for extra work.

"Ninety percent of the kids wanted to go at 6 a.m. It's cool in the morning, they can come here before work," Owens said. "I've been impressed with the kids because they're committed and really involved.

"I believe in getting everyone up here at one time. It's a commitment for all of them together. It's that camaraderie thing - they all have to get up at 5:30, and they're going to sweat together and work together. Another point is that maybe they'll get up early, it'll make them tired so they'll go to bed early and won't be running the streets all summer."

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