You’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats.
Summer workouts at North Little Rock start before dawn, and by the time the sun rises, the Wildcats are fully engaged in their Navy Seal-inspired outdoor conditioning circuit.
“We’re like the military; we try to break them down and build them back up,” says offensive coordinator Blake Pizan, who serves as the de facto drill sergeant of the summer workouts at North Little Rock.
The purpose of the early-morning workouts extends beyond trying to beat the midsummer heat. It reinforces the three pillars of the North Little Rock program: brotherhood, accountability and hard work.
The hard work is a given, since the players are pushed beyond their limits both physically and mentally. Nothing is guaranteed—the players must earn their stripes during the summer workouts.
Pizan says, “I think the reason why we have been successful here is because the kids bought into what we do, and they’re starting to see results. The results happen and they start building confidence. The confidence happens and we start winning football games.”
You won’t find many opposing coaches and teams sleeping on North Little Rock this season. The Wildcats are No. 4 in the MaxPreps pre-season rankings for the state of Arkansas.
North Little Rock opens its 2014 season at Little Rock-Catholic on Sept. 4.
See how other elite high school football teams prepare for Friday Night at Preparation Nation.