Meridian Star


July 1, 2014

Thompson leading Choctaw Central in summer activities

CHOCTAW — Jerod Thompson is looking to mold the Choctaw Central High School football program into a championship-caliber team.

After eight years as an assistant coach, Thompson was recently promoted to head man. He is just the second head coach at Choctaw Central to come from a Choctaw lineage — something which he sees as an advantage, he said.

“The kids relate to me in a lot more ways than any other coach we’ve had here before besides Coach (Walter) Wilson,” Thompson said. “They love the idea of me being the coach. There are things that happen to them on and off the field that I can relate to them about, and they feel a little bit more comfortable coming to me.”

And the first step is getting the players prepared with summer strength and conditioning. The Warriors have hosted workouts from 4 to 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“We started probably the first week in June,” Thompson said. “Mainly, we’re working out upper body Mondays, lower body Wednesdays and a combination lift Thursdays.”

Splitting up the focal point of each weight-lifting session allows the players better recovery in between workouts, Thompson said.

“The one advantage is to not overwork the kids too much and give them a portion of their body one day, then the other, then bring it all together on the third day,” he said. “That way, when they come back in on Monday, they’ll be fresh and ready for a new week of workouts.”

When they’re not pumping iron, the Warriors are outside getting their conditioning in by way of a steep incline and decline.

“Our conditioning work is basically this hill we have on the side of the football field,” Thompson said. “We do anything from 15 to 20 hills every workout. It helps out a lot.”

Most local schools have been hosting workouts in the mornings, but Thompson said the evenings are a better fit for his team.

“A lot of our kids have summer jobs, so a lot of them are working early in the morning,” Thompson said. “So far, (participation) has been pretty good. The early stretches was a little rough, but then the kids started kind of getting into it. We’ve been averaging around 20 to 25 lately. A lot of them are living in outside communities, so have to try to do the best we can with what we have.”

Monday was the last day of full workouts for the Warriors. In two weeks, the team will travel to West Alabama for football camp, and after that, a few more 7-on-7s will round out Choctaw Central’s organized team activities until fall practice.

As Thompson prepares to lead his team into his first season as head coach, he said he’s hoping this summer will lay the foundation for a successful program over the next several seasons.

“As with anything, I’m looking to build a championship team,” he said. “That takes time. It takes building blocks. In the era of win-now, a lot of people want success immediately, but with a little hard work and backing from the Choctaw people themselves, I think we can get to where we need to be.”

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