Thursday, 09 April 2020 20:20

Richmond coaches, athletes get creative and #FindAWay to stay connected

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Bryan Till gets creative by using his truck to workout. Bryan Till gets creative by using his truck to workout.

ROCKINGHAM — Through all of the uncertainty on social media and the internet, several Richmond Senior High School coaches and student-athletes are remaining positive as the fourth week without sports comes to a close.

The hashtag #FindAWay has become a friendly reminder on Twitter and Facebook that even though its members are social distancing, Richmond’s athletic department is still connected during a time when they need each other most.

Initially started by quarterbacks coach Jay Jones and his “fearless 50” pushup challenge, the simple exercise competition has evolved into a community wide web of videos and inspiration.

“I just wanted to keep guys connected with each other and give them something practical they could do to stay in shape,” Jones said.

Now Jones, along with several other coaches and players from a variety of sports, takes to Twitter every day with items found around the house to use as workout material. 

He’s used gallon water jugs, a backpack full of books, cinder blocks and a ladder, among other materials, to encourage players to stay in shape.

VIDEO: Jay Jones uses ladder as exercise equipment.

Head football coach Bryan Till has also been a big part of the movement, posting videos of himself using a bag of dog food, buckets full of rocks, rope, an outdoor deck, a riding lawnmower, his pickup truck and even his daughter as ways to inspire his players to stay fit ahead of the hopeful 2020 season.

VIDEO: Bryan Till gets creative with weight lifting.

Players to join in include sophomore defensive lineman JD Lampley, whose video of him flipping a large tire in his backyard went viral and landed the Raider program on WBTV in Charlotte.

Quarterback Caleb Hood and wide receivers Jakolbe Baldwin and Kellan Hood have shared videos of them working out as early as 5:30 a.m. during their time off. Punter Trevor Moss has worked on kicking drills with teammate Dalton Stroman on the receiving end.

Junior Turner Howell posted a video of him using cinder blocks in a workout, fellow junior Josh Mabe shared his agility workouts with his sister and CJ Tillman has been seen hauling a lawn tractor across the yard with relative ease.

VIDEO: JD Lampley flips large tire for workout.

Aside from the physical aspect of the #FindAWay challenge, Richmond’s football coaches have taken turns to share uplifting videos and messages of support during the time when the Raiders would otherwise be in full swing of spring practices.

And it’s not just the football team staying active on social media, as head volleyball coach Ashleigh Larsen has stayed busy with videos of her own. She’s shared tips and drills with her players, running and doing agility drills in her neighborhood.

About to enter her third year as head coach, Larsen also kept her team in good spirits with a couple of TikTok videos, one seeing players use a volleyball or weights to complete an abdominal workout. Like Till, Larsen used her daughter as a way to keep the mood light in a couple of workout videos.

Junior Jakerra Covington shared a video Thursday of her working on hitting drills at home.

VIDEO: Volleyball team uses TikTok for ab workout.

Softball players Allyiah Swiney and Kearston Bruce have remained active during their time away from the diamond this spring, posting videos and photos of them working out and pitching, respectively.

Members of the Lady Raider soccer team made a TikTok, posted by senior Layne Maultsby, of the team kicking, heading and passing a roll of toilet paper to each other, all while safely practicing social distancing.

VIDEO: Soccer team passes toilet paper on TikTok.

Although the spring sports season is suspended at least until May 15, and the uncertainty of further delay looming, one thing is certain: Richmond’s athletes and coaches continue to #FindAWay to make the best of the current situation.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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