High school football players pride themselves on being tough. In fact, they nearly always consider themselves the toughest people wherever they are, which probably made a Monday workout at Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola High a particularly odd situation.
That's because there is almost no way that the players in question were the toughest people on their own field that day. There's a good reason for that, too: a team of Navy SEALs were present to walk the Cubs through a new routine of elite military workouts. According to the Los Angeles Times, the entire Loyola squad was put through the entire SEALs workout, with a handful of notable players standing out for their fitness and willingness to compete at difficult drills they couldn't have anticipated.
"It was fun," Loyola coach Mike Christensen told the Times.
It's notable that Christensen offered up comments about the offbeat preseason day and not his athletes, given SEALs penchant for completing brutal physical tasks. Still, few were surprised that the Loyola player who most embodies a military appearance and commitment to toughness -- safety Cypress Moreno -- was the man who stood out the most among the ad-libbing high schoolers.
"He's quiet and does what he's asked to do," Christensen told the Times. "He survived."
The SEALs/students crossover was set up by a current Naval member who is a Loyola grad, and may have had a significant impact on fullback Robert Jenkins, who is being recruited by Army (West Point) among a host of other college football programs.
Whether the Cubs continue to sue the military training regimen during the season remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: For one day, they had to deal with not being the embodiment of physical toughness on their own turf.