Nobody knew what to except when Nunley Nights debuted Wednesday. After a two-hour workout, coaches and players left with one message – this group of Pioneers is going to compete no matter what.
Matt Turner and his staff gathered over 60 players for a night workout, which was nothing like anything the team has done before. There were no bench presses, dead lifts or squats. Instead, players pushed trucks and sleds, carried 100-pound kettlebells the length of the field, sprinted hills and stairs and finished it off with an old-school tug-of-war.
“We wanted to make everything a competition,” said Turner. “These guys are working hard. They are picking each other up and becoming a tight-knit group. I saw a lot of good things out there.”
There was little time for adapting to the elements. With seven events scattered across the field, it turned into a survival of the fittest.
Players flew around station-to-station, with each new event testing the team’s will and ability to work together. Each workout presented a new challenge, leading to some disagreement on which may have been the toughest.
“The truck push was tough. We had them start the push, then they had to stop the truck and switch out with their group and then start it rolling again,” said Turner.
Senior Eli Buchanan believed the sled push, where the group had to carry weights 40 yards each way to add to the sled, was the toughest. “It kicked my tail,” said Buchanan.
Dillon Haley, a senior lineman, thought the farmer carry presented the most trouble. The team had to carry a 106-pound kettlebell the length of the field (120 yards) and then come back to the start line.
At the end, the team competed in a tug-of-war. The winning group emerged, anchored by freshman Mark Bouldin, and finished the night downing a group of coaches.
The struggle didn’t diminish the spirit of the Pioneers. If anything, they’re all loving the new workouts.
“This is first time ever coming to Nunley (Stadium) and getting work in. It’s competitive, it’s bringing us together as a team,” said Buchanan. “We’re getting better and having fun as we’re doing it.”
Noah Martin added, “This is great. It’s better than anything we’ve ever done. I’m excited. There’s a bunch of guys coming out and they all look good. We’re excited about what’s to come.”
Nunley Nights will continue on Wednesday nights through June from 7-9 p.m.