The Proviso East High School and Proviso West High School football teams have been working hard throughout the summer preparing for the 2013 season, which opens this weekend.
Proviso West will open its season Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on the road at Evanston. Proviso East will open at home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at home versus Nazareth Academy.
Both teams have been working hard during the summer, hosting practice and workout sessions as well as scrimmages designed to get the players ready for the season.
Mr. Famous Hulbert, head coach at Proviso West, said that his team worked through four-hour practices three days a week, lifting weights and working on agility and conditioning to prepare for the season. He said that the team is ready to continue its streak of seasons in which they make the Illinois State Playoffs. The streak currently stands at four straight seasons.
"A lot of athletic kids are motivated to keep the streak alive," Coach Hulbert said. "We expect greatness from the kids. That mentality has allowed us to turn this program around."
The Proviso East football team took a similar approach to preparing for the season, hosting practices at 6 a.m. most mornings. The team also used a strength and conditioning program similar to the one used by the Northwestern University football team. Mr. David Odom, the new head coach, said that he is hoping to start a new winning tradition for the Pirates.
"I think we have the potential to be very good if we get all of our players to understand what it is that we expect of them," Coach Odom said. "Everything we’re doing is new to the team. The learning curve is very steep. But we’ll get there. As the season goes on, we’ll get better."
Players on both teams said that the hard work during the summer football practices should pay off.
"It’s a grind," said Denzel Tolliver, a senior quarterback at Proviso West. "It’s for the love of the sport. We sweat it out now so we can enjoy it later. We’ve got to keep working hard."
Jamus Neal, 17 and a senior middle linebacker at Proviso East, said that the Pirates will have an improved defense and a team of motivated hard workers.
"We’re good," he said. "We want all-state this year. It’s our time to shine, a new tradition."
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