Football | April 19, 2020

The ‘Ridiculous Six’ & WOW

From (L-R), Derek Wiatrek, Ben Crisp, Jesse Horner, Eric Nelson, Partick Almond, and Peyton McMullen. (Ryan Rivali is not in picture)


Governor Greg Abbot and the UIL may shut down the schools and the rest of spring sports for all high schools, but the “Ridiculous Six” as they are known, have not let that dictate slow them down in their efforts preparing for this falls football season.

In an undisclosed hideaway location which would make Batman & Robin envious, these “SIX” seniors took the bull by the horns during spring break and started working out three days a week in a relentless ongoing schedule to get themselves in shape for this upcoming football season. That’s right- football season.

WOW wants CL to WOW their Opponents this Year!

Since the CLHS field house gym was closed right after spring break, Sr. TE Ben Crisp and Sr. QB Peyton McMullen went looking for a place to work out and someone to help them get into football shape. Well they didn’t have to look far. Enter CLHS very own legend himself, Eric Nelson and W.O.W. (Work out on Wheels).

If you don’t know Eric Nelson, you’re about to. Mr. Nelson graduated from CLHS in 2010, played in the 1st ever play-off game vs China Springs, had 9 interceptions that season (2009), beat two time state champs Liberty Hill almost single handed 14-7 in a David vs Goliath game ( see #1 game of all times for CLHS football in previous article), played baseball, track and basketball. He also went on to play football for Mary Hardin Baylor for all four years as Flex End/ Safety. When you look at the record board at the CLHS Field House- Eric Nelson’s name is like a rash all over it, as his records still stand to this day. So when you say, been there done that, well he has been there and done that.

Graduating college with a degree in “Exercise Physiology” Eric came back to Canyon Lake and soon started WOW- Work out on Wheels, a mobile work out van in which he drives to different locations to serve his faithful clientele all over Comal County giving instructing to his followers and a lesson in keeping in shape in one form or another.

You see, Nelson has a passion for physical training and fitness, to him, it’s what he was born to do. “I love working with high school athletes and hopefully even middle school athletes someday as well. These seniors have got me motivated and it’s really a sweet spot for me, to give back and build that Hawk athlete so they can go on and rack up “W’s” in the win column.”

So when Crisp and McMullen made the connection, the relationship was born and it fit like a glove as they say. However with this virus hanging around these work outs had to be moved to an open air work out facility.

   Way To Go Hawks!!

Sr. QB Peyton McMullen weighed in on this type of schedule and said, “I have seen the difference in three weeks to where there were less weights and higher reps- shifting now to high reps and heavier weights. The added 90 second hard core agilities has been great in gaining endurance, something I am looking to increase more than anything.”

Nelson added the 90 second nonstop segment in order to mimic a real world football game which can get rolling on both sides of the ball pretty quick, especially with these spread offenses.

“That’s one thing we all really like about Mr. Nelson, he has been there, he knows, he can relate to us all and we see him as more of a peer than a coach and that helps mentally”, said Sr. RB/ OLB Patrick Almond.

When Nelson played football at CLHS, his coach was Coach Drum- the Defensive Coordinator at the time, for the Hawks, and is now the Head Coach and Athletic Director for Canyon Lake.

This interval training with free weights, power bands, compounded with lifts and cycling has whipped, The Six, into shape in a short four weeks.

Sr. WR Jesse Horner said he got a call from Crisp and McMullen one day yelling at him for sitting on the couch and playing video games during spring break and not working out for this fall.

“I remember the call well, I said to myself, ya know their right- I am going to do something about it, so I got up and went to a work out, thank God I did, I am in the best shape I have ever been in,” Horner recalled. “It was hard to get started but now I look forward to keeping up with my boys, this year I have something to prove to everyone on the field”.

By watching these seniors going at it for one & a half hours I can see the internal dedicated drive to succeed this fall is paramount in their minds.

              Hawk ‘WOW’ Proud

“Ya know I have heard it all my life, Champions are made in the off season, NOT during the season, well its true- I see it clearly now,” said Sr. RB/ LB Derek Wiatrek. “I hope my teammates join us and work out, if not with us, then somewhere, because if you’re not dedicated and not working out, then stay at home come this fall.”

So as you can clearly see, the Six, are motivated and their, “Work out Sensei”, has them all hitting on all cylinders in the gym, working out.

“What is really cool is that Eric understands where we are coming from and can relate to high school sports and can see what we see as well as what we want,” said Crisp.

This main theme is that, The Six, want their other teammates to get into shape early in order to get the jump on their football season opponents early.

“The Hawk camps are a time of conditioning the football team into football shape and to learn the X’ and O’s of the game, not to build strength- that’s what the off season is for”, said Wiatrek.

These student athletes have come to grips and realize that there are no guarantees from here on out.

They see it by looking at their fellow 2020 brethren’s un-conclusive and unfinished baseball and track seasons that have been dashed upon the rocks. So as the Ridiculous Six says, “the time is now, not next week or next month to get your workout schedule in motion.”

So now that school and the facilities are closed, the consequences are real. They also know workout season is over in three months before helmets and pads are issued and that opening day is at Wimberley and they want that “Back Bone Trophy” back at CLHS.

These guys will be physically in shape when that game and season ensues as Eric Nelson’s, ‘Work out on Wheels’ regiment will have a physically tough and mentally strong- HawkStrong!