Springfield, Ore. -- Football coaches love motivational tools. They love them even more when their athletes pick them up and run with them. That is the case at Thurston high school in Springfield, where the Colts have motivation to spare. Monday's 'Blitzing the Preseason' dispatch is, as always, presented by Bi-Mart.
Thurston high school football players carry something called challenge coins. It's meant to stay with them at all times, as a mark of commitment. But head coach Justin Stark may not have to worry about that.
"We have had 70 strong every single day, 4 days a week we've had 70 strong in the weight room," Stark excitedly explains. "They are not afraid to work and they love each other, they'll spend time together and they like to train."
"We're just...we're all all a big friend group and it makes us all want to go to the weight room, all wanna go to these team meetings, all wanna go to practice and it just works out that way," follows up senior lineman Patrick Antone.
And to hear Stark tell it, the strength of this team lies in its numbers.
"We've got a bunch of worker bees and we got our two...er we actually got our three top running backs from last year and they were almost equal in yardage in Avery Jaramillo, Wesley Kommer and Cade Harmon," says Stark.
Which of course means a 3 headed monster in the backfield.
"They're all three feature backs," Stark continues. "We don't need to do it by committee but they are all three feature backs. So we'll do, don't want to give away too much, but we're gonna use em together at times and if a kid gets hot we'll ride him and it's nice to have that type of depth."
"It's really awesome knowing that if someone has to go down or someone is tired the next guy is just at that same level and just as good and things will be executed," says senior lineman Colton Hallett.
And with that experience at multiple positions, the Colts want more than the first round playoff exit they had in 2017.
"Win the league instead of a runner up finish and they want to play for the state title instead of going out in the first round," Stark says. "So kinda left a bitter taste in their mouth and they're hungry for more."
And so it falls to the Thurston players who are ready for those coins and that challenge.
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