Flipping the tire the first time is enough of a challenge.
Doing it a second time, after making it through an obstacle course on a stifling July morning, is a particularly brutal test.
The obstacle course is part of Troup High’s Iron Tiger competition which measures the players in a number of different areas.
There were weight-lifting events, speed events, a jumping competition, events designed to test strength and endurance, and also the obstacle course.
The course, which was set up on the Troup High tennis courts, begins with the player having to flip over a huge, tractor-size tire twice.
He then makes his way through the course before ending up back where he started, where he has to flip the tire twice more.
If he’s unable to flip the tire at the end, he’s hit with a time penalty.
“It’s very tough,” said an exhausted Jason Hernandez after successfully completing the course. “You push yourself, but pushing yourself always leads to a good gift at the end.”
The two-day Iron Tiger competition wrapped up on Wednesday, and for most of the players, the obstacle course was the final event.
Troup head coach Lynn Kendall said the obstacle course is designed to test the players in areas they’ll need to excel in on a Friday night.
“We try to mimic things you have to do on a football field,” Kendall said. “There’s the strength element. That’s the tire. And then there’s the tire at the end when you’re gassed. There’s footwork, change of direction. There’s scoop and score, accelerate, decelerate, all those things.”
Kendall said it’s also designed so players of all shapes and sizes can compete on a somewhat level playing field.
“There are some things that are equalizers,” Kendall said. “It can’t be pure speed, and you have to be able to change directions, and you also have to be able to be strong. And you have to have a little bit of endurance.”
Other events during the Iron Tiger competition included the bench press, the power clean, the tire flip, the vertical jump, and a 40-yard dash.
“Everybody does different things. It’s whatever fits your system,” Kendall said. “You’re looking at it as a competition, but also as a fitness measurement. I thought a lot of them showed they’re in pretty good shape.”
While it is a competition, and all of the players want to reach their potential, Kendall said they all realize they’re supposed to be there for each other.
“We have the guy who has the best time, and he’s trying to tell the guy who’s probably his competitor, this is where I made my mistake,” Kendall said. “I like that. At the end of the day, it’s all about being a team.”
Hernandez, who will be a senior offensive lineman this season, said “we’re all a family.”
“It’s always a team effort,” Hernandez added. “We’re always encouraging everybody. That’s what we do. That’s how we win.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports