GONZALES — Offseason just means no pads for the Gonzales Apaches this time of year. Work is still needed to be done, and the coaching staff have turned workouts into a competition, to maximize the efforts of the athletes taking a part of the offseason program.
“We try to make it about competition,” Gonzales Athletic Director Kodi Crane.
Different color T-shirts represent different tiers for the Apaches. Each tier represent a standard.
“If they meet all those standards, then they get a white shirt in the first level,” Crane said. “The second level is a black shirt and the third level is the gold shirt.”
Athletes are tested on upper body strength with the bench press, lower body strength with the squat, power with power clean, speed with the 40, quickness with the shuttle and guts with the 50-second run.
This past week, JT Esparza was rewarded the rare gold shirt, though admittedly the shirt wasn’t available when pictures were taken, simply because Crane didn’t feel the need to spend money on such a rare feat, he joked.
“We had to order one,” he said. “He’s the second kid to have it in all our time here in Gonzales.”
In fact, Esparza is the fourth kid Crane has ever seen exceed those standards in his years of coaching in San Angelo, Alice, Groesbeck and here in Gonzales. Jaime Tellez was the first for the Apaches.
“That’s a pretty special and rare deal,” he said
In-house records were broken as well this past week.
Heath Henke broke a four-year old record, Darrance James’ vertical jump. Henke’s celebration was cut short after 15 minutes, when Kenneth Cavit then topped Henke’s record, thus becoming the top Apache in the vertical.
Seth Gibson is also a new record breaking, taking down Tyshawn Erskin’s 50-second run that has been held since Crane’s first week on the job, according to the athletic director.
All-time records are being tested week-after-week. The Apache training staff hopes the competitive nature will eventually lead to on-the-field success.