Weighting for the SZN

Bulldog football team spends off-season prepping hard for next year


Lexi Soto

Football players supporting one another during the Commitment Challenge.

Lexi Soto, Staff Reporter

As any athlete knows, committing to a sport is tough. Of course hard work and effort are put into games and practices any team’s regular season, but the real commitment is in the off-season, behind the scenes.

Football is widely known as the most popular American sport. The entire school comes together to support this great team of young men representing our school on the field. The catches, tackles, and touchdowns are all greatly celebrated, as much as the hits, fumbles, and losses are sadly acknowledged.

RBHS Bulldog football players put their blood, sweat, and tears into such a sport from the beginning of summer to late October. But where do they go for the next seven months? How do they come back with the same team spirit and strength?

It all starts at the base of the school, the bottom of the pyramid, the weight room. Not only does football – or any sport for that matter – require physical strength and commitment, but what’s a team without a family bond? It takes commitment, leadership, and love to stick to with your teammates through the wins, the losses, and the training behind closed doors.

To make hours and days of practice of weight lifting more fun than it can already be, Coach Brendan Curtin decided to add a friendly competition to the table; the dinner table, to be more specific.

The team is divided into smaller teams lead by captains chosen by Curtin.

“The coaches and staff look for guys who are not only physically committed, but who care for their teammates and try to push their group to succeed as a whole,” said Curtin.

These current Commitment Challenge Captains are sophomores Christopher Doherty and Rahim Kouferidji, and juniors Andrew Mirko, Robert Murphy, Connor Pitts, and Elliot Royer.  They all lead and push their teams to stay committed to waking up at four-thirty for a morning practice and staying after school for a two-hour practice.

“My only concern to being a Commitment Challenge Captain (CCC) is that I can teach and lead my team, The Marine Scout Snipers, the importance of being a team and learning to build and support one another,” said junior Elliot Royer.

These practices are not just bench pressing weights and getting the heck outta there, it is helping your team to not only become physically stronger, but build a bond stronger than their muscles.  They have competitions such as races with weight plates, battles with strength, skill, and trivia knowledge. They push their strength by pushing a weight ball against one another to wrestle memory exercises.

At the end of it all, whichever team demonstrated the highest level of commitment and strength gets rewarded with dinner with none other than Coach Curtin himself.

“By the time it’s all over, the team has learned three things: the strength of himself, the strength of his team, and the strength it takes to be committed to football,” said seniors and former captains Nick Del Nodal and Hunter Hughes.


Correction: In our original reporting, we incorrectly identified junior Marco Mendez as a group leader. We have corrected the article to reflect that Rahim Kouferidji (also a Clarion sports editor) has taken over that role.