Some athletes take the summer off while others continue to work hard and improve on their craft. This summer will be one of those busy summers for Pioneer athletics to improve and prepare for its first eligible fall season in NCAA Division II.
“Our off-season training is a lot different from prior years,” assistant football coach Joshua Flannery said. “We are relying on the guys to be more accountable and responsible this summer in their training.”
From the first peek at this year’s competitive GLIAC, the Pioneers anticipate a fresh, new attitude and some changes to its development.Since it is hard to keep all athletes accountable in the summer, coaches are looking for new strategies and ways to keep up with their athletes.
“We set up these packets with their workouts in them,” Flannery said. “They are required ten times out of the summer to either email us a picture of their workout completed or text us a picture of it and if they don’t, they will have ten hills for every day they missed.”
Along with developing summer plans, other changes have emerged from the new division change. Entering into its official eligible season, the football team was able to bring in a total of 34 recruits for the upcoming fall season.
“Recruiting has been very successful,” Flannery said. “We targeted offensive linemen and defensive linemen very heavily this year and were blessed with a lot of them signing. We are a lot farther then we were last year as far as recruiting.”
Three of the football coaches went out to California the day after the last game of the season to begin recruiting heavily, which is something the program has never done before.
“As of now, the football team is finishing up spring workouts,” Flannery said. “Hopefully, that hard work transitions into their summer workouts.”
Football isn’t the only sport that is looking to have a successful summer of training. Just like football, men’s soccer has been working hard this spring semester and is looking to continue throughout the summer.
“The team will have an intensive summer conditioning program that they will take with them,” head soccer coach Brian Stock said. “It builds off the fitness work we do during the semester and is designed to give us a good starting point when we begin camp in August.”
With fall being Pioneers’ first chance at a post-collegiate championship, expectations have become higher.
“The bar will continue to rise as far as fitness standards and performance measurement,” Stock said.
“The preparation for this coming season began over a year ago when we ramped up the expectations of current team members,” head swimming coach Brian Peresie said.
Swimming and cross-country have been two of the few teams to have success in this past year’s GLIAC Championship.
Head cross-country coach Jack Hazen says they anticipate doing the same as they ever did in preparing for this upcoming fall season.
“The ultimate goal is to keep everyone healthy,” Hazen said. “And to run the best possible times we can run at the most important meets, which are conference, regional and nationals. Whatever happens, we will view it as success because we did our best. Having said all that, we really hope that we will qualify for nationals, both men and women.”
This summer of training will be a huge influencing factor for Pioneer athletics. With every athlete dedicating their time and effort towards their program, Pioneer athletics will be ready to roll once fall comes around.