Chance Purvis didn’t dedicate himself in the weight room last summer, and the Lamar School junior defensive end/tight end said he paid for it early on.
While Purvis later went on to be selected to the All-State team — and his team won the MAIS Class AAA Division 2 state title — Purvis said a rough start to the season left him realizing the mistake he made.
“I regret not working out as hard (last summer), because I want to be the best I can be,” Purvis said. “If you’re not prepared in the summer, you won’t be prepared on the field. I didn’t hydrate myself, so I was all tired and worn out. I didn’t work out a lot, and it was hard for me to build up to where I needed to be.”
A year later, Purvis said he’s taken a more dedicated approach as he and his teammates take part in summer workouts five days a week at Lamar. The team has been working out since late May both lifting and doing agility drills between their 9:30 a.m. workouts and 5 p.m. workouts.
“If you work hard during the summer, it will pay off,” Purvis said.
Senior quarterback/cornerback Brett Shaffer said any success in the fall can only come from how much improvement each players shows in the summer.
“You don’t win championships during the year, you win them in the summer,” Shaffer said. “Al the work you put in, it makes you the players you are. It means everything.”
With the Raiders looking to defend their Triple-A Division 2 championship, Purvis said he doesn’t sense any complacency from his fellow teammates.
“I think we’re hungry for another one,” he said. “We’re going to work hard this summer for round two — there’s just something about being the best (that makes you want more).
Like Purvis, Shaffer said he believes the Raiders will maintain that hunger throughout the coming season.
“We already know what it feels like to win (state), and we want more,” he said. “We’re not satisfied with just one.”
Shaffer said the team lost more than 10 seniors from last year’s team, and the other players will be looking to seniors like him to fill in that leadership role.
“Our class is unique, but each one is in some way,” Shaffer said. “We’ll be able to fill different roles in different ways. In some things, we’ll be better; in other things, not as great, but we’ll make up for it in different ways.”
Purvis admitted replacing those former upperclassmen won’t be easy, however.
“I don’t doubt us this year, but it’s going to be tough,” he said. “We’re just going to have to see who’s the better man.”
As quarterback, Shaffer said he shoulders a little extra responsibility playing one of the positions with the most spotlight.
“The team always looks to the seniors, and being a quarterback doubles the responsibility,” Shaffer said. “But I’m ready for it. I can handle it. I’ve been on the team four years and watched the seniors before me, so I’m ready for the responsibility.”
In addition to getting faster and stronger, summer workouts offer the chance for teammates to bond and new transfers to adjust to a new environment.
“We’re basically focusing on teamwork,” Purvis said. “Last year, we all pushed for our goal and got it.”
Said Shaffer, “We’ve got some new people filling in roles, and everyone on the team feels like they can get stronger and work on their speed.”
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