Tolar summer workouts

LIGHT ON HIS FEET: Levi Mercado looks like he is levitating as he rounds the corner as coach Clint Gardner offers encouragement.  

Wednesday was a classic rock day at Tolar High School.

“We like to mix it up and play different music,” Rattlers coach Jeremy Mullins said. “Me being a country boy, I like to slip in a Texas country music now and then.”

The music being played is just a tiny portion of Mullins’ method for creating the camaraderie the Tolar Rattlers have been displaying since his arrival four years ago.

“The guys will probably start singing a couple of these songs,” Mullins said.

As a Division II Class 3A program, Tolar’s future looks bright for the upcoming sports season, and Mullins looks like he has the right mixture of seniors and juniors to guide his younger players.

“We have had a building process going on here, and it’s not just about football but creating relationships between our athletes and coaches,” Mullins said.

Keaton Morrison

TIMING: After working out on the bleacher’s stairs, Keaton Morrison makes his way through the cones under coach Lance LeFevre’s timer. 

BEST YEAR EVER

Tolar’s 2021 strength-and-conditioning program is the best under Mullins. His athletes show up in droves and maintain accountability when church camps, work or family vacations occupy them.

What’s different about this year as compared to the past?

“I think it is our coaching staff and their consistency here with me is that has created this culture,” Mullins said. “Our coaches understand it’s a building process, and they have a genuine enthusiasm about being with our kids.”

USEFUL TECHNOLOGY

Tolar utilizes the musical theme in its weight room to coincide with a computer program that times and projects the athletes’ workouts to a screen on the wall. Rather than Mullins and his staff announcing the next set of exercises and repetitions, coaches can watch and guide their athletes, who can remind themselves of what’s needed with an upward glance.

Coach Jeremy Mullins

HIGH-TECH COACHING: Coach Jeremy Mullins uses technology to free himself up to do more hands-on coaching.

“This program has helped free our coaches up to concentrate on the kids and not have to worry about the logistics of the exercises,” Mullins said.

If you needed more proof Mullins system is working, you could look at the fact that Tolar qualified for the 7-on-7 football state tournament this year for the first time ever.

“As far as I know, it is our first year to qualify, and it’s something we are proud of accomplishing,” Mullins said.

The Rattlers went 1-2 in pool play before bowing out in the first round of the bracket. The experience was eye-opening for the Rattlers, and is another building block for the success Mullins wants for his athletes.

“We have a great core of athletes who play multiple sports, so this success isn’t just about football, but an achievement for our entire sports program,” Mullins said.