With state for winter sports right around the corner, students are readying themselves for the hardest, most competitive sport of all: gym class. Every day is a day closer to state gym, and the training is gruesome and brutal.
Bennett Soncarty, who has attended State Gym three times, is hoping to qualify in his right-leg-over-left-leg-crossover stretch and in proper-push-up-position events.
“I work on warm-ups, Fitz does a great job preparing us. We really work on our form and take our time because you have got to make sure you are getting the proper form. That’s a big thing they look for in State Gym, along with speed. You’ve got to combine the two to really perfect your stretch,” Bennett Soncarty said.
Training, for Bennett, requires a ferocious tenacity. Bennett must change his exercise and even eating habits in preparation for the elite State Gym.
“Breakfast is just straight protein--I eat like six eggs and seven pounds of ham every morning. For lunch, I always eat Chick-Fil-A and just drink lots of water. I drink at least a half ton of water every day,” the three time champ said.
Although gym is only a one quarter class, Bennett continues his work from home. Bennett does at least 200 push-ups and 300 sit-ups every day. And although Bennett is ready for State Qualifiers, he is sad this will be his last time attending State Gym. He is however, looking forward to passing his legacy onto his younger brother, a rising star, Campbell Soncarty.
Campbell is hoping to qualify as doctor in doctor dodgeball. In his training, Cam has not only started studying for his Ph.D., but he has also worked on perfecting his stretching forms.
“Perfecting stretches is very important for State Gym,” Campbell said.
Campbell admits he struggles with motivation to get up for gym, but when he thinks about the payoff of State Gym, all his doubts are washed away to pure persistence.
Bennett often reminds his brother, “You have to believe in yourself if you want others to believe in you as well.”
The brothers feel very indebted to their coach, Mr. Fitzgerald. Speaking on the brothers gym class efforts, Fitzgerald said, “They’re not that good.”
Aidan Goerdt, a returning State Gym athlete, is still recovering after taking a fall on the ice earlier this year.
“I had to be out of gym practice for a little bit with my shoulder and my head injury,” Goerdt said.
Although Bettendorf students are worried for the heroic athlete, Goerdt is not worried about his injury.
“I’m still bouncing back from that but it may give me the lead I need,” he said.
Although in the past, Goerdt has gone to State for his elliptical skills, this year he hopes to qualify for knocking out the most people with one ball in mat ball.