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Uploaded 03/28/2020

Cougar Football: COC’s Iacenda Hosts ‘Quarantine Competition’

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director

The Cougars football program may be social distancing as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, but that didn’t stop head coach Ted Iacenda and his staff from hosting the program’s first “Quarantine Competition Thursday” online event this week.

For fans and followers not familiar with the “Competition Thursday” concept, it’s relatively simple. Each Thursday during off-season workouts, the team wraps up the week with a new competitive challenge designed to breed competition, build team comradery and enhance the group’s collective athleticism.

Challenges can run the gamut from races and relays, displays of strength and agility, to the showcasing of different skill sets, with both individual and team winners crowned at the end of each activity.

On Thursday, the challenge came via an online post and asked players to share a video to Twitter showing them doing “as many burpees as you can get” in one minute.

Named after American physiologist Royal H. Burpee in the 1930s, a “burpee” is a full-body strength and aerobic exercise that asks users to begin in a standing position before quickly moving into a squat position with hands on the ground, simultaneously kicking their feet into a plank position and extending arms outward, then immediately returning their feet to a squat position and eventually returning to a standing position. The exercise has been used to help assess physical fitness for decades.

Players were also asked preferably to wear College of the Canyons gear and use the hashtags #CompetitionThursday and #ThisIPromise while tagging the @cocfb Twitter account. With each post players were told to challenge at least one of their teammates.

T-shirt prizes were promised to the first player to post a video, and the five players who did the most burpees during the one-minute time allotment. And in keeping with program tradition, there was also an internal competition between the team’s offensive and defensive groups to see which unit would come out on top.

Within minutes the videos started rolling in with excited players eager to challenge each other in an effort to get as many participants as possible. Shortly after that, Iacenda took things a step further by extending the competition to a wider network.

“I am calling all Past, Present and Future Cougars. Competition Thursday is here and we want you all to participate! It would mean so much to get all the different generations of this FAMILY together! So please give us 1 minute of your quarantine! Stay Safe! #ThisIPromise,” Iacenda tweeted.

The challenge was apparently accepted, with nearly every member of the Cougars’ coaching staff and a number of recent alumni — including former All-American linebacker Tariq Speights (2018) and All-State quarterback Wyatt Eget (2018) — jumping on board. Even Iacenda got in on the action by posting a burpee video of his own.

The competition, and its associated tweets and retweets, ran deep into the evening with players past and present — some wearing Cougars football gear, others in work uniforms, and some in more quarantine-traditional lounge apparel — literally jumping at the chance to be able to compete against their comrades. Those that were late to the competition were still posting videos early Friday morning.

But by noon on Friday, with more than 70 players, coaches, alumni and recruits having participated, it was time to declare a team winner.

“After much deliberations and calculations this morning, the official winner of the Competition Thursday Burpee Challenge is … the Offense!” reported Iacenda on Twitter.

That report brought with it an expected response of online cheers from offensive players, and groans from defensive players. But with each reaction also came a seemingly excited sense of anticipation for next week’s Competition Thursday challenge, paired with an echoing of the the Cougars’ football creed — This I Promise!


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