LOVELAND HIGH SCHOOL
In the Spring of 1999, Loveland hosted a BFS clinic given by Coach Jim Brown, which was attended by 160 of their athletes. Coach Warden comments that, “to say the least it was the beginning of somethi
By Chuck Warden • Head Football Coach, Loveland High,
Published: Spring 2001
On Friday evening November 3rd, 2000 the Tigers of Loveland High School in Cincinnati, Ohio played in their first Ohio football playoff game since 1986. Qualifying for the playoffs in Ohio is a difficult task because only the top 8 finishers in a region are invited to compete in the tournament. Loveland finished 6th in our region by going 7-3 in the regular season and 6-1 in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Cardinal Division. Along the way, Loveland defeated the League Champion from the previous year 33-14, which solidified their playoff berth. Additionally, they finished 7th in the Greater Cincinnati coach’s poll, as published by The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Loveland’s opponent that evening was the McNicholas Rockets, who had defeated them twice in the last two years in regular season games. The Rockets finished 3rd in the region and above Loveland in the final season polling for Greater Cincinnati. They are a perennial playoff team and served as a great measuring stick for Loveland’s progress. Just getting to this point for the Tigers was a long journey.
In taking over the Loveland program 3 years ago, Coach Warden and his staff used several different training methods in the off-season in order to maximize the athletes’ performance, which always resulted in mixed results. Following the 1998 season, in which league opponent Lebanon had claimed the Ohio Division II State Championship, Coach Warden realized they had to make a change in order to improve their off-season program. While attending the Ohio High School coaches clinic in January of 1999, the Loveland staff listened to Coach Bob Doyle from Chardon, Ohio. Coach Doyle is a BFS clinician and was presenting the Chardon BFS program that they had used to rejuvenate their program with great success. Upon returning to Cincinnati and making a few phone calls to Coach Doyle, Loveland football decided to commit themselves to the BFS Total Program. In the Spring of 1999, Loveland hosted a BFS clinic given by Coach Jim Brown, which was attended by 160 of their athletes. Coach Warden comments that, “to say the least it was the beginning of something great for our football program.”
The commitment to the BFS program was well received by many of the other teams at Loveland as well. Both male and female athletes today can be found training the BFS way in Loveland’s new state-of-the-art fitness room, made possible by a commitment from the administration and athletic department. The development of this new facility has increased participation and enthusiasm in developing the athletes of Loveland into well- rounded student-athletes that can meet the demands of today’s competitive environment, both on and off the field.
Within the time period from June 1999 to August 2000, the Loveland BFS off-season program produced fourteen 1000-Pound Club members lead by team captains Brad Zorb, Chris Weinheimer, Adam Wirth and Brian Stubblefield (not shown). Previously, they had only been able to produce one or two members. The BFS program has lead to many positive changes in our athletes’ self image as physical, fast football players. As a result of their new-found success in the weight room, Loveland gained the ability to compete in our league and our region at a level never reached before by any football team in Loveland’s history.
The result of the Tigers’ commitment to BFS was an exciting 24-21 victory on that night in November. This was the first playoff victory in the school’s history. Coach Warden states, “The playoff experience created much excitement among our community and school. The players at Loveland realize their success is rooted in their commitment to the BFS program and firmly believe it will allow them to continue to excel on the field and off. This goal could have never been reached without Coach Brown’s guidance and our player’s commitment to the BFS Program.”
Unfortunately, Loveland was defeated the next week in a very close Region semifinal game with Piqua. Piqua plays a very physical style of Ohio football and went on to play in the Ohio Division II Championship game. The Tigers’ goal in the off-season is to prepare to win their league championship and return to the Ohio playoffs and compete for the Division II state championship. In order to achieve this goal the players of Loveland are currently working to redouble their efforts to meet the expectations set by the graduating seniors. Coach Warden states, “The BFS program will be our launching pad to achieving our goals for next season and beyond.”