No, that’s not a misprint. The Griffin Bears football team actually went through a United States Marine Corps workout Tuesday evening at the Griffin High practice field that had several of them lying on the ground exhausted after the drills were over.
Marine Staff Sgt. Matthew Reed oversaw a workout that was designed to get the Bears in great shape and give them a taste of what it means to really work as hard as a U.S. Marine.
“This is no joke. We really wanted to put the guys through a workout that the Marines would go through,” said Bears offensive coordinator Justin Rogers, who helped coordinate this workout.
For his part, Staff Sgt. Reed — who works as a recruiter in the Griffin office on the North Expressway — wanted to expose the players to his world with the hopes that some of them may want to join the Marines after high school.
“It’s all about exposure. We want to show the guys that being a Marine is more than just going to war,” he said. “We want them to see that they can be part of an elite-trained force and be productive people. We want them to see that there are other opportunities outside of Griffin, Ga.”
Staff Sgt. Reed put the Bears through a serious workout. After they ran two laps around the track for time, the players then had to lift a 35-pound ammo can above their heads (with arms fully locked) from chest high as many times as they could in two minutes. A Marine in great shape lifts a can 97 times in two minutes, Staff Sgt. Reed said.
Several Bears had to drop the ammo cans from pure exhaustion after about 40 lifts and several didn’t fully lock their arms, but they showed tremendous will in getting up as many reps as they could. Many had determined looks on their faces during the lifts.
Once the lifting was finished, the Bears had to perform a field drill for about 50 yards through various cones. The players had to get in pushup position, sprint five yards, then do low crawls and high crawls before zig-zagging through the cones to one of their teammates, who were sitting on the ground.
Each player then had to pick their teammate up and drag him, as a Marine would do for a wounded comrade. After dragging their teammate five yards, the player then had to use the Fireman’s Carry technique to lift said teammate on his shoulders and run through the course. Once they drop the teammate, the player had to pick up two ammo cans, run through the cones and do five pushups where their teammates were. After the pushups, the players picked up the ammo cans and sprinted toward the finish line.
“This was actually a lot of fun. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun,” said Bears rising junior Jay Clemmons. “It showed the value of discipline and hard work. It was tough.”
“It definitely was a workout, that’s for sure,” said rising sophomore Edjerrin James. “This will definitely show how hard you can go.”
While the Bears were going through the drills, Staff Sgt. Reed was alongside several players, giving encouragement to them along with the Bears coaches.
“I think this did the team good today. If the Marines can do this, then so can the Griffin Bears,” said Ryan “Rah Rah” Cochran, a rising sophomore. “It’s been a great experience — I’m glad Staff Sgt. Reed came out here with us.”
Anyone who would like more information about the Marine Corps can call Staff Sgt. Reed at (678) 229-7318.