For the players at Good Counsel, looking to win its fifth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title, there really is no offseason.
Senior offensive lineman Sam Madaras lifted weights and attended workouts all summer. He said he has followed the routine since his freshman year; when the season ends, “we start lifting in January, and we don’t stop.”
Weight training was followed by lineman school in the spring — chalk talk, film sessions and walk-throughs. Lineman school was followed by summer practices. Each season rolled into the next until late every August, when Madaras would gather his pads from the gym and know the games were about to begin.
As he enters his fourth season, Madaras said there’s still excitement as he collects the stickers on his helmet. After months of hard work off the field, though, he said, “It’s more just that I’m ready for the season.”
As he went through the line, Madaras said he was thinking about how his final season of high school football would be different.
But not in ways you might expect. Rather than look at this season as his last, Madaras said he is trying to approach it as a fresh start: “I don’t like to think of it as an end but a beginning.”
His goal is to finish the year strong, maybe with a major college scholarship offer. He knows that will come only with the kind of hard work he feels he won’t put in if he treats this season as his last.
“Because I’m not sure where I want to go to college yet, but I just want to make it a ‘get better’ experience and not bring myself down because it’s senior year,” he said. “I want to think of it as the beginning of something new.”
However, there are some things Madaras doesn’t want to change: He plans to lift weights with his teammates in January.