Monday Morning Lights

As HSE Football prepares for offseason practices to begin, junior player Levi Burke and offensive coordinator David Weitz describe training and preparation throughout the offseason.

Alex Boothby

There is nothing quite like football season. The smell of charcoal fires, chants of the student’s section and the cheers of exuberant parents as their children compete in a game of grit and physicality. The sensations, emotions, and excitement that come with the Friday night lights are unmatched. However, once the lights turn off and the pads are removed attention turns to other excited sports whose season is now on the horizon. This is when the real work starts for the coaches and players of the football team as they must piece together how the team will compete in the next season. This process is hard and long but if done right can reap great rewards in terms of success for both the coaches and players. As the coaches and players prepare for the intensity and excitement of morning workout

s Hamilton Southeastern’s offensive coordinator David Weitz and upcoming senior lineman Levi Burke elaborate on the process of offseason training and preparation.

The first step of building a successful team is developing strength and speed in future players that allows them to dominate any competition they face. This is done through weights classes, speed, and agility workouts, stretching, and any position specific training the players do individually. Levi Burke has especially taken advantage of opportunities to better his strength, speed, and overall athleticism through hard work. “I have been working on footwork and speed,” Burke said, “I have also been to different camps to work on my skills as an

offensive lineman.” This level of commitment is not just isolated to Burke but is a widespread attitude and an engrained piece of the culture. This is commonly credited to the ideas head coach Michael Kelly brought to the program. However, credit should be distributed to other important coaches that support and help spread these ideas, like offensive coordinator David Weitz.

Weitz, who had been coaching at Hamilton Southeastern before Kelly took the reins, accepted the new philosophy of hard work and toughness in the offseason breeds success in season. He has also adopted the new culture to his own methods of coaching to incorporate new offenses that take advantage of the new mentality. In addition to this, he has consistently developed new offenses to feed off the unique fluidity of high school football teams with new personnel each season. “I have been working on the best ways to feature the skills and abilities of our players.” Weitz explained, “We graduate a lot of really good players, but we also have some pretty special players returning.” This is the typical challenge high school coaches face each year with talented players leaving and inexperienced players coming in. However, Weitz continues to adopt the ideas of mental toughness and hard work that are developing as the new culture of Hamilton Southeastern football to create successful teams year after year.

Speaking of success, the Hamilton Crossroads conference is shaping up to be an interesting group of opponents for the royals this season as Hamilton Southeastern is expected to field a top tier defensive unit and an interesting offensive one. As Hamilton Southeastern deals with molding a dominant team this offseason plenty of drama has plagued other teams. The defending back-to-back state champions Center Grove and Carmel high school were both removed from their conference and will compete independently this season. Brownsburg high school faces a diminished defensive presence as two phenomenal players on the defensive line transferred to IMG Academy, a private school in Florida known for its national presence in football; and Westfield faces an almost complete defensive rebuild as Division-1 caliber players like Popeye Williams and Micah Houser move on to the college level. The 6A Highschool football competition this season will certainly be interesting, and the Royals are committed to competing and developing a squad that can navigate the path to Lucas Oil. Story by Alex Boothby