ANNA — Strength and conditioning camp for Anna boys, grades seventh through 12th, got underway on Monday, June 12, at Anna High School. And soon after roll was called by Coyote football offensive coordinator Joey Hector, the weight room erupted with the sound of clanging iron and the floor thundered as loaded barbells slammed to meet it. Another group of campers headed out to the baseball field for running and agility drills, and still another group moved to the auxiliary gym for similar activity.

And they were just getting started. The camp runs four days a week for the next six weeks.

This is where athletes know championships are won.

“That’s what our coaches tell us every day,” incoming senior Keelan Crosby said between weight-lifting sets. “Weight room, running, hard work, all that is going to build up for the season and we’re just getting prepared for it.”

“I think it’s very important,” Anna athletic director and head football coach Jason Heath said. “If you’re an athlete nowadays and you take a month or two off, it’s just so much to get back to where you were. It’s a great opportunity for our kids to stay active, to stay in condition, both in the weight room and in the cardiovascular, the running part of it.”

“If they’re a football player or volleyball player, when August rolls around, we’re not having to spend a week or two trying to get them in shape, and we can more focus on game plans, installing the offenses and defenses. Most other sports you have a time period when school starts, an off-season period leading up to the season. Football, like volleyball, is one of those sports that’s not like that. Even before school starts we start our season.”

He added that becoming accustomed to the heat is necessary to prevent heat-related illness. “The more they’re outside and working in the heat, in the elements, the more the body becomes acclimated to it, and the better shape they’re going to be in.”

Anna Coyote football stars two-a-day workouts August 7 and the first game is Sept. 1.