Bobcats ready to unleash the beast within
Ross Schwisow may be Basehor-Linwood High School's strength and conditioning specialist, but he's just as concerned about nurturing his charges' minds as their bodies. In the interests of doing that he helped organize the school's first "Beast Feast," a barbecue to celebrate the athletes who met their summer training goals.
This year's feast, held at the school last Thursday, was well-attended, as 122 of the approximately 155 athletes met the "Beast" criteria. This summer the goal was at least 60 percent attendance at Schwisow's Monday through Thursday training sessions. Next year he plans to increase the goal to at least 75 percent attendance.
Thursday's celebration, though, was more about the immediate future, as Schisow expects the Bobcats to see dividends on the court and the field this year, even though he's only been working with them for a couple of months.
"I want you guys to have a confidence about you, that's why we call it 'Beast,'" Schwisow said as he addressed the group in front of the concession stand next to the football field. "You guys already have an edge, I guarantee you."
The "feast" included hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and bananas, and was followed by a group photo on the football bleachers. For the photo all the athletes and coaches wore their new "Beast Club" T-shirts. The shirts feature an extremely muscular, fierce-looking Bobcat about to devour a raw steak.
After the group photo the 16 athletes with perfect attendance at the summer training sessions posed for individual shots. One of the Bobcats who made it to all 34 workouts was Travis Inlow. Inlow was on the varsity wrestling and baseball teams last year as a sophomore and is projected to be one of the football team's top receivers this fall. He said it was sometimes difficult to get up at 6:30 in the morning to go work out during summer vacation, but it was worth it.
"I noticed a big improvement already in my speed and quickness and I had bigger gains than usual in the weight room," Inlow said. "I think it will help out the whole (football) team a lot. We're in way better shape than in the past."
Emily Lackner also made every training session. As a cross country star, her athletic needs are different from Inlow's, but she wasn't just going for the agility runs that Schwisow led on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"Lifting definitely helps," she said. "I could already notice a difference because my muscles have more endurance."
Schwisow will continue to help the Bobcats gain in confidence and physical strength and they will all soon get to see some of the fruits of their labor. The athletic talent pool at BLHS is deeper than it has been in many years and with the extra conditioning there could be exciting times on the horizon.
"You guys did a tremendous job," Joe Keeler, activities director, said on Thursday. "This is where championships are won."