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JB bulking up to break streak

August 30, 2000

JB bulking up to break streak



By AL DITZEL / Staff Writer


MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Numbers are up, players are stronger and everyone has come into this football season showing some enthusiasm, but James Buchanan still faces a 27-game losing streak entering 2000.

"We don't talk about it,'' second-year head coach Kevin Gustafson said. "Last year is last year. I think the kids have done a great job of getting themselves ready for this season and that's what we'll concentrate on.''

James Buchanan, 0-10 in Gustafson's first season as head coach, has taken many strides.

"We're definitely stronger and we have more size,'' Gustafson said.

That has a lot to do with the off-season weight training program, which began soon after JB's final game last year.

"We had 20-25 there almost every day, and I'm not just talking about the same 20-25,'' Gustafson said. "We had about 12-15 core guys there and they made sure some other guys got there as well.''

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Gustafson said those numbers rose considerably from the weight program he started in June of 1999.

"Not everybody bought into it,'' he said. "After the season, the players knew what they had to do to get better and they bought into the weights."

Also, many players on this year's varsity squad will benefit from playing a lot of JV football last year.

"We had some kids playing six to eight quarters of football a week,'' Gustafson said. "With the JV schedule (2-5), some kids played like 17 games last year.

"That's a lot of football in 10 weeks, but to get better, some of the kids had to play.''

While no one player played every game on both levels last year, some of the players back this season got to taste victory.

"We're trying to start some traditions here and one of them is having the team, at the end of the season, elect the next year's captains,'' Gustafson said. "Last year they kids elected (Josh) Sprenkle and (Randall) Pryor. Josh, in particular, has really taken charge.

"He was at 85-90 weight lifting sessions, that's three a week for three months without missing. It shows. He went from 5 feet, 9 inches and 175 pounds to 5-10, 205. That's good weight.''

Gustafson said he also named (Ken) Lininger as a tri-captain.

"Our goal this year is to be competitive in every game. If we do that, the wins will take care of themselves.''

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