Sept 1, 2022
By: Katherine Trowbridge
Connell High School’s fall sports teams came to practice to find the Field of Dreams taken over by the Army National Guard on Tuesday, August 23. Some of the football players shared with us that they assumed practice would be moved to the lower field due to the Army. But added that it seemed a little odd the Army would be practicing on school property.
They soon found out that the Army was there for them, along with cross country and volleyball. Fall sports teams were invited to participate in a unique training experience set up by NFSD’s own Superintendent, Jim Jacobs.
Jacobs shared that the teams participated in the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) as a conditioning and team building exercise.
The team building experience brought out the competitive spirit of our student athletes as well as their camaraderie as they cheered each other on. Which impressed upon the Guardsmen leading the event.
Army National Guard representatives stated they are trying to get out to schools in a more hands on way. Along with the team event they also brought some of their equipment to share with the students including a Humvee. Corporal Arthur Alvarez showed students how to stay alive in an ambush and keep attacking the enemy. The ACFT coupled with the equipment and ability to answer students' questions in regards to the Army National Guard are a new approach to getting students interested in the military.
Karston Schwendiman expressed, “It was interesting.”
Gabriel Rodriguez shared, “As soon as I saw the truck, I knew it was gonna be hard. It’s hard, I can’t feel my legs.” Despite all this, Rodriguez kept going, even after the event, assisting the Guardsmen in packing up the supplies used for the training.
The Army Combat Fitness Training featured six stations that students took turns participating in while keeping track of their scores on a score sheet. ACFT consists of deadlift, power throw, hand release push-ups, plank, 2 mile run, and a combination sprint/drag/carry. Students were asked to: Dead lift a weight three times. Hand-release push-ups. Between each repetition, hands must be briefly lifted off the ground. Minimum 10 in two minutes. Do a timed plank, and run two miles. Many of the teams only took on a two lap run.
Easton Stoker shared, “I thought it was fun. I really enjoyed it. As much as I hated the sled and kettlebells, I loved them.” He added, “Yeah, this was fun.”
Payton Pyeatt stated that it was good conditioning, but agreed that it was hard.
Coach Riner shared, “Conditioning is gonna be easy for them after this.”
Guardsmen Joseph Sullivan encouraged the football team stating, “Stay competitive. Take your conditioning serious. Because, going both ways, you’re gonna beat those teams, even if you’re not better, just based on your conditioning.”
Another Guardsman observed, “For a smaller town there’s a lot of kids playing sports. Just goes to show the community involvement. Where I’m from in Oregon, Milton Freewater, it's not even close.”
With initial observations the guardsmen stated X-Country was going to sweep it as they were the only team who completed each of the events. However, they added that it would take some time to add up all the scores.
Participants each received a t-shirt stating, “I stand with the Guard.” Those with the highest scores will also receive a “swag bag” from the Guard.