CHATHAM, NJ - Filet mignon for dinner, a motivational speech and then a movie before lights out and a night's sleep on the gym floor culminated the first day of football practice for the Chatham High Cougars.
Chatham head coach Jason Izsa is stressing an "All In" team approach in 2017 and it started on Monday with the first of two nights eating, sleeping and training at the high school - a first for the program.
"The idea is to get these guys to work together," Izsa said. "Steve Trivino (assistant coach) had brought it up. We used to take the kids to Millerville University (in Pennsylvania) when (Don) Morgenroth was the coach. None of these guys remember it because it was last year's seniors who (last) went when they were freshmen.
"Let them eat, sleep and do some bonding. Learn how to get along with each other not just on the football field, but off the football field."
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The team also heard from motivational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez, a teacher from Union City whose motivational speech to the New York Giants helped inspire a run to the 2011 Super Bowl.
"He does a whole concept of 'All In' and that's what were modeling our season on this year," Izsa said.