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Dunlap: Preparing for a season like a boxer for a fight PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 August 2017 06:37


Liberal athletes start the first fun run of the season Friday at the parking lot of Liberal High School. The traditional runs are the first group activities that lead into the Fall sports seasons. L&T photos/Earl Watt



• Leader & Times

Perhaps a higher power was cutting the athletes a break on the first Fun Run of the 2017 season. Clouds helped block out the intense heat of the sun, and a comforting breeze provided additional relief when the Redskin and Lady Redskin athletes took to the pavement on a three-mile jog to kick off the Fall sports season.

While the runs may bring to an end the summer workouts and kick off the Fall seasons soon after, they also continue tradition.

New head coach Jason Dunlap has participated in the runs for more than 20 years, first as an athlete, then an assistant, and now as the head coach.

He also instituted his goals for the summer weight room leading up to the Fun Run.

“I’ve seen a lot of hard work,” Dunlap said. “A lot of kids have put a lot of work and effort into their seasons, whether it be football, volleyball, basketball, cheer. These kids have been working hard, and these fun runs show it. We don’t have a lot of kids lagging back. They are staying in with the pack. It looks like the summer conditioning is working a little bit.”

And his intense summer workouts pushed his athletes.

“We wanted to get stronger, faster, build muscle endurance and a mental toughness in our kids that we wanted to make it so hard in the off-season that there is no way you will quit on the field,” he said.

Completing the summer with the Fun Runs also starts to bring the athletes and supporter together.

“No. 1, they are for community,” Dunlap said. “But it is also a good trainer for our kids. Boxers put in a lot of miles, they run the roads a lot. A football game to me is just like a fight, so we are going to train our kids like fighters.”

And so far, there has been buy-in.

“There is a lot of excitement right now,” he said. “A new system, new style of play, new staff new everything. I’m excited, the kids are highly excited and motivated, and it is our job as coaches to keep that flowing.”


Liberal head football coach Jason Dunlap prepares to blow his whistle to start the second half od Friday’s Fun Run on the parking lot of First Baptist Church. Dunlap also led the weight room throughout the summer and will soon oversee his first official practices of the Angry Red football program. 


As some of the athletes approached the finish, they encouraged each other for the final push during Friday’s first Fun Run of the 2017 sports season.


Some Lady Redskins enjoy the mid-run break on the parking lot of First Baptist Church Friday during the first Fun Run of the 2017 athletic season. After a few minutes to recover, and a bottle of water, a group of about 150-200 athletes headed back to Redskin Field followed by a caravan of supporters. The group will return for the second Fun Run Tuesday, and the public is invited to participate.




About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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