Athletes give it their all at combine

Dion Clisso/PrepsKC

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: March 14, 2011 - 11:40 AM

A team can’t lose any football games in March, but the work in the offseason can go a long way to winning games in September.

One way teams can see where its players are in terms of their development is the Human Performance Testing Combine held Saturday at Harrisonville High School. The event drew athletes from 10 schools from around the Metro and as far away as Kirksville to compete in 11 different events. The tests ranged from weight lifting (squats, bench press, clean) to jumps (standing long jump and vertical jump) to agility (sports speed drill and shuttle run) to running (10-yard dash and 40-yard dash) to sit-ups to a 30-pound medicine ball throw.

When the events concluded each team was scored based on the performance of its athletes in 13 different weight classes. In the team competition Harrisonville was the winner with 6,585 points followed by Staley with 5,901; Grandview with 5,458; Fort Osage with 5,253; Richmond with 5,205; Pleasant Hill with 5,074; Smithville with 4,731; Butler with 3,840; Kirksville with 2,765 and Park Hill South who competed with a partial team with 679.

Harrisonville coach Chuck Lliteras was pleased with the turnout for the testing and with his team’s performance.

“I really thought the kids all around from all of the high schools performed very well today,” Lliteras said. “It was a very good atmosphere. It was very efficient. We had one injury on one of the drills that took up a little bit of time. The coaches and testers did a great job. I can’t thank them enough. We couldn’t get it done without them.”

There were team awards along with winners in each weight class. In addition to those awards an overall top point winner was given to Trent Hosick of Staley. The sophomore finished with 1,027 points to win the 211-225 pound weight class.

Hosick said it was great to be able to come out and compete in an event like the combine and see where he measured up in his offseason work.

“It’s been an absolute ball,” Hosick said. “Any time I get a chance to come out and compete, I enjoy being out here it’s been great.”

Hosick’s overall performance mirrored some outstanding individual achievements during the day. One eye-popping time that was turned in was Grandview’s Jaron Alexander in the 40-yard dash. Alexander ran the distance in 4.36 seconds which was the best of any competitor. The time also helped Alexander win his 151-166 pound weight class with a score of 918.

“This was real fun because we were working with a lot of guys getting better and seeing where you stand,” Alexander said. “I was mostly working on technique and making sure you got the right steps.”

While Alexander was the fastest, Richmond’s Alex Luman was one of the strongest. Luman earned top honors in the squat competition when he lifted 500 pounds. Luman would finish with 752 points in the 241-255 weight class and finish second to Justin Strong of Harrisonville who had 954 points.

Luman said it was great to come out and test to see where he was in his offseason workouts.

“It was really fun I liked it,” Luman said. “I love doing this and I love squatting, this was fun.

“We are just trying to work harder every day getting bigger, faster and stronger.”

For a complete list of winners and results click here.