Winter Athletes Prepare for Season

Varsity wrestlers Brandon Jones (left) and Adam Aldridge (right) training in Leesville Road High’s mat room during a preseason workout. The Leesville wrestling team has been holding preseason workouts since mid July. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Polansky)

With the end of fall comes the beginning of winter. That doesn’t only mean colder weather, but an entire season of new high school sports, all with different ways of preparing for their upcoming season.

Leesville Road High features eight winter sports teams, including: Indoor track, swimming/diving, wrestling, men’s varsity and JV basketball, women’s varsity and JV basketball, and women’s gymnastics. While the winter season hosts the least number of Leesville sports, there is no shortage of training for these teams.

“I swim year round–most serious swimmers do,” said Waseem Zaarour, a varsity swimmer and sophomore at Leesville Road High. Zaarour maintains a training regiment of two hours of swimming a day during the school year and an hour and a half of swimming a day in the summer with various clubs.

For many swimmers at Leesville, season continues throughout the year during the summer and fall.

Similarly, indoor track athletes can prepare for season by running cross country during the fall sports season for Leesville and follow up their season by running spring/outdoor track.

“Doing cross country could be considered a preseason for indoor track, because it builds up the running endurance you need,” said Alex Peña, a cross country, indoor, and spring track athlete as well as a junior at Leesville Road High.

For certain Leeville teams, training begins long before specified seasons. The wrestling team is one of the few winter sports to host an official preseason.

“Our preseason starts during the summer where we have early morning workouts at 5:30 a.m. on every Monday and Friday starting mid July,” said Simeon Ruff, a senior captain of the wrestling team. “Once school starts, we add afternoon workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.” Preseason workouts consist of mostly lifting and running based workouts to prepare for the difficult season ahead.

Each Leesville winter sports team and athlete has its own unique way of preparing for their season. Looking towards the rapidly approaching season, we can only look forward and watch to see the fruits of these athlete’s training.


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