Clinton, S.C. – This spring the Blue Hose have been hitting the weight room as well as the practice field. With the final spring practice coming up on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. we caught up with head strength and conditioning coach, Ryan Groneman, to find out what the Blue Hose have been up to in the weight room to prepare for the 2018 season.

“We have been working in the weight room four days a week this spring. Two days have been upper body days and two days we have worked the lower body. We try to start off with some mobility drills, to help get quick feet. After the mobility drills we go into our main exercises. We do five accessory stations and the guys have been doing a really good job. One of the accessory stations is prowlers, (a piece of equipment used to train your entire body in all motions). I have not run them a lot, we do more prowler sprints, ropes and a few agility drills. We are just trying to get them trained and conditioned the best we can to be able to play football.”

“We are trying to get them as strong as possible, you only have eight or nine weeks in the off-season to get them as strong as possible. We start off more reps at the start of the training season and then we maxed them out before Spring Break. They passed the tests we gave them. A lot of guys jumped up 25 to 30-40 pounds. Their body weight has gone up and their bodies have changed this off-season and we hope for a successful 2018 season.”

The Blue Hose will be wrapping up their spring practice on Saturday, April 14 starting at 10 a.m. The practice will last until roughly 12:30 and even though there will not be a game the team would love for everyone to come out and watch the practice. The practice will feature a majority of offense versus defense work in an effort to be as similar to a real game as possible.

The Blue Hose have 42 players returning for the 2018 season; they are made up of 21 offensive players, 17 defensive players and four special teams players. Among the 42 returners are four offensive starters and four defensive starters. Tobias Hagins, an offensive lineman, played in 10 games and started eight is the returning leader among the offense. Gyasi Yeldell is the returning leader on the defense. Yeldell played in and started all 11 games in 2017 recording 47 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack as a defensive end.

A number of rising sophomores who saw playing time as freshmen are returning as well. Among them are Keith Pearson who was the leading kick returner in 2017 with 28 kick-off returns for 609 yards as well as hauling in 12 receptions for 131 yards. On the defensive side Dirk Cureton as well as Nick Chiaravalloti return. Cureton finished his freshman season with 47 tackles, one tackle for loss and five passes defended with two forced fumbles. The five passes defended were second on the team behind only Rock Ya-Sin and the two forced fumbles led the team. Chiaravalloti finished with 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks as a defensive end.

The final practice of spring will start at 10 a.m. and run through 12:30 p.m. It will take place inside Bailey Memorial Stadium and is open to the public.