During this unprecedented time, Lafayette High School football has said goodbye to the traditional way of things by implementing live, joint workout sessions on Zoom.

Upward of 40 players join in every few days, but it’s not limited to just the Fighting Irish.

“We’ve actually got a good showing from our middle-schoolers wanting to get a workout and routine in every day, which is one of the biggest things about it. We do it in the mornings, so the boys get up and get the blood pumping,” head coach Eric McDowell said.

“It’s real positive, gives us good energy instead of staying in the house and sitting down, watching TV all day or something like that,” junior Anthony Hawkins added.

Making gains isn’t the only reason to sign on for the athletes. McDowell added online gaming tournaments, with Fortnite and NBA 2K, could be in the works.

The Fighting Irish enjoy connecting with each other in a unique way.

“We have team meetings every Wednesday night, and sometimes coach will just start a random Zoom call and if we want to join we can and just start socializing with everybody else,” junior Jude Barbosa said.

McDowell added, “We try to mix in fun with it too. These guys are bored out of their minds so we try to not make it just all about working out.”

Both Barbosa and Hawkins think the live Zoom workout sessions hold everyone accountable by not letting anyone slack off.

McDowell even decided to dedicate a workout to the 2020 seniors every Friday until their graduation, calling them “senior honor workouts.”

“We were just all sad for our seniors because they can’t go back to school so every Friday we do all our sets. We do 20 reps for each workout and repeat it and it’s usually our hardest workout of the week,” Barbosa said.

As the numbers continue to show on the screen, McDowell hopes the trend will translate in the fall.

“The fact that we’ve had such a high rate of success as far as the number of players showing up and actually doing the workouts, that’s just a huge positive,” McDowell. “Their level of discipline, commitment and accountability is just through the roof and we couldn’t be happier and more proud of our boys for that.”

Micaela Dea can be reached

at micaela.dea@newspressnow.com.Follow her on Twitter: @NPNowDea

Micaela Dea is a sports reporter for News-Press NOW. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Growing up in San Diego, Micaela loves to travel, meet new people, and tell stories. Have a story idea? Don't hesitate to email!