All of us here in Griffville are very excited about the upcoming season and feel as though we are stronger than ever. After coming off of a tough loss in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament last season in Rochester, the team is hungry to get into the swing of things in training camp and ready for the upcoming season. The end of last season also brought the departure of our seniors, which means there are many new faces around the locker room this year. Our nine freshmen come to us from all over North America from as close as Derby, N.Y. to as far as Phoenix, Arizona.
Not long after all the boys rolled into town we fired up the grill and had our annual team barbeque. The fellas had a chance to catch up on what everyone had been up to all summer. Some worked, some skated and some pulled weeds from their mother's garden and claimed to be landscapers. A hot topic of the barbeque was the argument about who was in the best shape. We all worked hard in the weight room over the summer and everyone took their turns giving their case for why they believed they were in superior form. The truth behind any claims about anybody's current physical condition would soon be brought to light in the highly anticipated Iron Griff competition.
This year's Iron Griff competition consisted of several different events that tested our strength and endurance. The first event was the one that haunts most of our dreams all summer...the 300-yard shuttle runs. We all headed out to the field on Wednesday and split into four groups. The first group ran while the second group rested for two minutes before taking their turn. The third and fourth group stood on the sidelines and waited for it to be their turns to run as they cheered their teammates on. Wednesday was a scorcher of a day, especially for us Canadian boys. The only one who seemed not to the mind the heat was newcomer Duncan McKellar, who comes to us straight out of the Arizona desert and couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.
Thursday brought us into the weight room where we tested our bench press, squat and vertical jump. The returning players were tested on a percentage of their maximum weights from last year while the freshmen were given the choice on which weights they would like to test their bench and squat. The boys showed improvements across the board from last year, especially in former chronicle writer Chris Forsman's case as he put his newly acquired "guns" to work.
The final day of testing we took on the notorious Beep Test. Many of us have done the Beep Test growing up in Phys Ed class or with prior hockey teams but it never seems to get any easier. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Beep Test is a 20-meter shuttle run where the pace of the run gets faster and faster as the runner attempts to make the line before the next beep. There is no way to beat the Beep Test, but instead the runner simply runs until he can no longer keep up with the pace. It's a great test to show who is willing to work hard to get the next line and push themselves to reach higher levels than the guy next to them. Torrey Lindsay's days of running up and down the wheat fields of Manitoba paid off once again as for a second year in a row he outlasted us all. After giving a great showing with the Beep Test with many personal records beaten, the team was led out to the field to run our final event that consisted of eight 100-yard sprints. We lined up in six rows and raced down the field at a pace that reassured some of the boys that they hadn't missed their calling as track stars. On the other hand, after watching senior Vinny Scarsella sprint down the field, I now understand how he stole so many bases for the St. Francis baseball team.
It was a tough but rewarding week of testing which proved that Coach Rowan's summer conditioning program is very effective. Returning players showed improvements across the board in many events and the freshman impressed us all with their conditioning level and work ethic. We are all now looking forward to a great month of running, skating, and lifting as we tenaciously prepare for the season.
See you at the rink
Scott Jenks, #3