Championship Football

By Mike Grant, Head Football Coach
Published: Fall 1997

In 1992 we took over a program that had won five games in three years in one of the top leagues in Minnesota football.  Since 1992, Eden Prairie has won three conference championships, one state title, in 1996, and accumulated a 44-9 record over those five years.  Many people ask what we did to turn this program around and there are many ingredients.  One of the most important parts of the puzzle was the establishment of Bigger Faster Stronger as our football and our school's base lifting program.

In 1992 we began our first day of practice with a Bigger Faster Stronger clinic put on by Bob Rowbotham.  We let our players know from the first day that we are going to focus on core lifts and we will emphasize explosiveness.  Over the past five years, we have had an additional all school clinic put on by Coach Bob Rowbotham and we have coordinated our lifting into our curriculum with our weight training classes being called BFS.

Over time we have added to our facilities and equipment.  We began with lots of benches and machines.  Over time we have transformed our power lifting room into one where squat racks and clean and dead lift stations dominate the room.  We have had to upgrade all our bars because of the gains our athletes are making.

Not everything can be done at once.  We have educated our coaches and athletes over time as we continue to add to our program.  The in-season lifting program we have developed and improved upon was a big part of our State Championship run this past fall.  We have purchased additional Dot Drill Pads to allow for full team use during lifting.  Our girls basketball players are some of our best at the Dot Drill.  They also had their best year ever. 

Over time, with the support of our athletic director, we have increased the opportunities for athletes to make use of our facilities.  We now offer Bigger Faster Stronger in Physical Education class, intramural and a full summer program.  Our athletes each get Bigger Faster Stronger log books that allow us to monitor their work.  Not all athletes make use of this opportunity.  Our great ones do and our players know that this is the way to the state championship.

Our athletes and our lifting program have grown over time.  Our basketball team was also introduced to the BFS program.  They won the conference for the second year in a row with 8 of the top 10 players being football players.  Our throwers in track are some of the best in the state.  We believe in training our athletes to compete in many sports and because of this, the BFS system in place at Eden Prairie High School, has improved all programs.

There are certainly many good lifting programs.  We have found that Bigger Faster Stronger allows us to create a culture of lifting at our school with all our athletes talking the same language and focusing on the same goals.  Many people have said that we win with bigger and faster athletes that they don't have.  I think that's the point of BFS program.


Clinician's Note:
Championship football was the kind of play I was lucky enough to witness when I saw Eden Prairie play Blaine High School for the state championship for big schools in Minnesota.  Either team could have come away the winner but on this day, Eden Prairie gave up the fewest points.

Congratulations go to both teams for the effort put forth and the never-give-up attitude that was displayed.  Thanks again to Mike Grant, Steve Scultz and the rest of the staff for allowing me to play my song with such a great group of coaches and athletes.
Bob Rowbotham:
Eden Prairie's BFS Clinician