Kemp's training pays off

Thanks to summer conditioning program, Badger commit has improved his strength and flexibility

Want to test your flexibility? Just do an inchworm or two. Start in a pushup position and literally walk your feet forward, pushing your torso up until your legs are perfectly straight and your hands, hopefully, are still touching the floor.

"I know a couple years ago I couldn't totally touch my toes," said Andy Kemp, a Badger verbal commit from Menasha, Wis. "Now I can touch past my toes and hold it."

Improved flexibility is just part of what Kemp took away from spending four days a week in a summer conditioning program called Menasha Acceleration, Strength and Speed, or M.A.S.S.

Kemp's workout regimen served a dual purpose: it prepared him for his third season as a two-way varsity performer for the Blue Jays, playing tackle on each side of the ball. It will also help him get ready for his journey into Big Ten football next fall.

"The Wisconsin Badgers are pretty big on the inchworm," Kemp said. "Before I couldn't get up all the way to a straight-legged position. Well now finally I can start getting there. And that's where the Badgers push is that almost everyone can get it straight leg all the way up. And that's where I kind of wanted to be good enough for them right now before I got down there."

Kemp's strength should also fit Wisconsin's bill. Last year, Kemp said, he bench pressed 385 pounds and squatted 525. This year, those numbers are up to 425 and 580, respectively. Not bad for an athlete just entering his senior year of high school.

"It was just a great feeling to see those go up," he said.

Kemp, who stands 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, also ran a 5.03 40-yard dash at a Wisconsin football camp this summer. He ran a 5.05 at a camp last summer.

"It was a little, not much," Kemp said of the two-hundredths of a second improvement. "But it's good that I'm still in that range right now."

Kemp will put his size, strength, speed and agility on display Friday, when the Menasha opens its season with a 7 p.m. kickoff versus Oshkosh West. Thus will commence a season of high expectations.

"I think we can go to state," Kemp said.

Prior to last year, Kemp's comment would have been unfathomable. But after going 0-27 in the three previous seasons, Menasha tallied an 8-4 mark last year and qualified for the playoffs.

"A lot of kids got a taste of winning and know how great it does feel," Kemp said. "And I think in past years kids came out, ‘oh we are going to lose', you know. But the attitude's strong this year, knowing that we can win and kids want to make it to the playoffs and want to go to state. The attitude, the hard work is just paying off right now."

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