BEATRICE - The sounds of cheers and encouragement coupled with the clanking of metal barbells has been common place at the Beatrice High School workout room this summer.

The Orangemen football team has taken their weight lifting to a new level, setting several new records this offseason. With just three weeks until the kickoff of the 2022 season, junior Crew Meints talked about how the workouts have gone leading up to the season.

“Summer workouts are great, we’re getting in at 6:00 AM, hyping each other up and just trying to get better,” Meints said.

The Orangemen have a structured set schedule of max out lifts and certain muscle groups. Strength and conditioning coach Jordan Johnson talked about how the group crafted their workout regime.

“We usually go two sessions, one older group, one younger,” Johnson said. “It works pretty well, we’re able to work with the younger guys on technique and stuff. They all come in and work hard.”

Senior running back Deegan Nelson recently set the Orangemen record for squat with a 535 lb. squat. Tucker Timmerman also set a record lift. Senior Luke Feist says it’s not always easy to make it to those early morning lifts, but the hard work pays off aspect gets the team motivated.

“These mornings get real early every day having to be here by 6:30,” Feist said. “Running on Wednesday, lifting Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday, you wake up and wonder if you want to go, but the answer is yes because you have to get ready for the season.”

Johnson says these type of environments not only build up physical strength, but it also builds a bong amongst the team, and motivated athletes in all sports.

“You build camaraderie in the weight room just as you do in practice and it’s a lot more fun to lift with your friends than on your own,” Johnson said. “It’s good to see them get in here and encourage each other and not just football, but also cross country and vise versa. It’s good to see kids from different sports pushing each other.”

Feist says that camaraderie can build a strong bond on the field.

“We have energy in here, energy out there, and you saw it last year, we had energy on the field and when you have that energy in here and on the field, good things happen,” Feist said.

Sometimes results from summer workouts don’t show until crunch time in a close game. Johnson says they use that motive to push players to work hard in the gym.

“We challenge guys, especially in those core lifts and auxiliary lifts to make sure they’re getting that full workout in,” Johnson said.

For Meints, these summer workouts are crucial as he says it takes strength and conditioning to play the sport of football at a high level.

“It’s really important because football is one of those sports you have to be big, strong, competitive,” Meints said. “You have to be ready to go.”