(The following is the first of several blogs that will be written by several top IE Football players during their senior season)
My name is Grady O’Donnell. I am a senior running back at Chino Hills High School. I have a fantastic family of 5 starting with my father Derek, mother Colleen, brother Sean, who I will be taking the field with this year, and my little sister Ella. My family is incredibly supportive of me and is always looking for ways to help me reach my goals. Along with my family, my friends support me greatly and are my biggest fans, making all my games and motivating me on and off the field to push harder and shoot higher.
I am looking forward to this upcoming season of football more than ever before. My team and I have extremely high hopes and goals for this year’s season and we have been working extraordinarily hard to achieve them. The work for this season all started back in early January with a great weightlifting program put together by, in my mind and many others, one of the best head coaches in Southern California, Matt Bechtel. He puts in a borderline insane amount of hours and work to make sure me and the boys are ready to beat any team in the state, come August through December. Our weightlifting program is extensive and grueling but it prepares our bodies and minds for the season to come. Everybody in our weight room sees the results fast and it only makes us want to push harder. When max outs come around every month, the numbers being put up are nothing short of monstrous, from the smallest guys to the biggest guys in there. This goes on through the summer and continues throughout the season. I am especially proud of my numbers, and reaching my goals of a 385lb. bench, 500lb. squat, and 315lb. power clean. In around March the team took to the field to work on agility while I was running track. I ran the 100 meter dash in 11.01 seconds by the seasons end and came out of the blocks for my 4×100 meter relay team, which made it all the way to the Division 1 CIF Southern Section finals taking 5th place and running with the best athletes in the country. After track season, I quickly returned to football and worked with my team on more preparation for the season.
After school ended, our summer program came along and we lifted in the mornings, then afterwards took the field for conditioning with the United States Marine Corps. We then would practice later on in the evening to work on making our offense and defense sound. Unfortunately, early in the summer program, I was at the UC Davis football camp at Corona Centennial High School and had a minor hamstring strain which left me out of lower body activity as a precautionary measure to ensure I would be 100% as fast as possible. It was extremely difficult to hold back and not be on the grind along my guy’s side. Fortunately though, I recovered well and I’m back preparing for my season in full stride. My recruitment for college football is going well, with looks from many schools, and a lot of time speaking with coaches.
For this upcoming season I am looking forward to running behind my boys up front on the line the most. I could not ask for a better front 5. My line consists of my left tackle, now a 3 year varsity starter and one of my best friends, Matthew Kivler, my left guard, Connor Garcelli, my big bad Serbian center RJ Stripling, my right guard Austin Villegas, and my right tackle, another good friend of mine, Daniel McGuire. Those boys are solid, and mean, and I have 100% confidence in their ability to take on the opposition and come out on top. All in all, I am beyond excited to get this season started and come out with a bang against our cross town rival, the Ayala Bulldogs, on their home turf on August 28th. GO HUSKIES!