Marine’s visit to team a good idea

Souhegan High School football coach Mike Lochman said something interest­ing to our Joe Marchilena during a recent interview: "Our theme through the whole offseason has been that potential means nothing."

It’s an excellent point.

When it comes to sports, especially at the college and professional level, we hear a lot about potential and, unfortunately, too often we hear about the player who didn’t live up to his or her potential and we find ourselves wondering why that is.

Two reasons, we think:

1. The potential never was there. Who­ever said the player had potential made a mistake. It happens.

2. The potential really was there but the willingness to work wasn’t.

You’ve heard the old saw: Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspi­ration. Substitute "potential" for "inspira­tion" and you have sports in a nutshell.

So we understand why Lochman brought a couple of special guests to a recent Souhegan practice: Marine Staff Sgt. Josh­ua Caruso and Gunnery Sgt. Justin Park. Marines, after all, are all about perspira­tion. Those of us who were not Marines but who had the opportunity to watch them work and train can attest to that.

Indeed, here’s the workout that Sgt. Caruso had the Sabers do: Run 10 yards, do 10 reps of an exercise, run back to the start and do 20 pushups. Then do it again, this time going 20 yards with 20 reps. And continue that up to 50.

Go ahead, try it.

Part of the idea, said Lochman, is to help the kids develop character and leadership capabilities by making things tough, by being demanding in practice. Some coaches really believe another old saw: You play how you practice. If prac­tice is sloppy, the game will be, too. And that’s never good.

We like the idea of members of the armed forces interacting with teenagers, the same way we like the idea of schools have a policeman as a Resource Officer. Kids need to see these folks as people, not as icons or recruiting posters.

Yes, we like it.

But, uh, 50 yards, 50 reps, 50 pushups?

Send in the Marines, but tell them to skip our office.