Five days a week Lynden seniors Trent Postma and Bryce Sterk roll out of bed early and head to Lynden High School for their 6:45 a.m. workout class.
Being on time, dressed and ready to go is a challenge in itself.
Postma and Sterk, two of Lions’ four captains, aren’t the only ones in the class, but without question they’re two of the hardest workers.
For the Lynden standouts, like many prep athletes, the weight room provides opportunity — a chance to increase ones speed and strength, a chance to mold a championship-caliber team, and if an athlete works hard enough, the chance to play at the next level.
Postma and Sterk are seizing their opportunity and running with it.
“I don’t think anybody would argue that those two kids aren’t the hardest workers,” Lynden coach Curt Kramme said. “They push themselves. They are strong, but they also don’t take what they have for granted. They leave here dripping with sweat.”
The pair has something else in common.
Unlike many of the Lions’ talented athletes who play basketball and or baseball, Postma and Sterk this past offseason supplemented football with spring track and field. Both reached the Class 2A State Meet, but what they gained was an edge on the football field.
Postma, who specialized in the 400, and Sterk, who mostly concentrated on the 300 hurdles, said running track increased their explosiveness and overall speed. And that, coupled with offseason training, has helped the pair enjoy early starts to the prep football season.
Postma has run for 243 yards and three TDs and has been a force at linebacker, while Sterk has been a menace on the defensive side of the ball, generating a number of sacks and quarterback pressures. He’s also, as an offensive tackle, helped generate time for Lynden’s QB’s to throw while creating running lanes for the Lions’ backs.
“It’s your senior year, and you just want to work as hard as you can,” Postma said. “Track was a big thing. Nobody else likes to run the 400, but the 400 is a pretty big deal, because you really strengthen yourself, and I’ve noticed a lot of power.”
Sterk also credited his track workouts for some of his speed and strength development.
But for both, their preparation for this fall began soon after the Lions returned their third consecutive state championship to Lynden.
The Lions beat Tumwater on a Saturday, and on the following Monday Lynden was back to work. Sterk fondly remembers the feeling.
“We all kind of walked in the weight room and looked at each other and smiled, cause we did it,” Sterk said. “Coach reminded us we got another season coming up, so we just got back at it.”
Ever since Postma and Sterk have been working tirelessly to get ready for 2014.
A large top-10 list hangs on one of the sides of Lynden’s weight room, charting throughout the past 20 or so years what Lions have lifted the heaviest weights. Postma’s 320-pound power clean ranks No. 2 all time, and he’s five pounds away from matching the all-time record. Sterk ranks among the top 10 in both incline and medicine ball throw.
“It means improvement,” Sterk said of Lynden’s weight room, a place he’s spent countless hours in. “You walk in and your like, ‘How can I get better today?’ (Kramme) always posts how much each person lifted every max week and usually that gives you a personal goal to beat.”
Both players are physical specimens and tremendous talents, but Kramme said they’ve developed their work ethic at different rates. Postma came to Lynden already a workout warrior, Kramme said. His drive and determination showed from the start, so much so the coaching staff was considering placing him on varsity his freshman year.
Sterk, Kramme said, emerged as a hard worker this past offseason, and he’s translated his passion to improve onto the football field.
“I’ve had a lot of kids in the weight room over the years and not only are (Postma and Sterk) gifted with work ethic, they are also gifted genetically,” Kramme said. “Both are what I’d consider ‘farm strong,’ too, meaning they work outside of school, and sometimes you can get a better workout bucking hay and that kind of stuff than you can lifting weights.”
Kramme believes both players’ dedication will prove fruitful this fall, and already they’ve received offers to play at the next level.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.