Player's Diary: Andrew Weininger

Badger commit Andrew Weininger, a 6-5, 305-pound senior from Harrison High School in New York, is considered one of the top offensive linemen in the nation. After committing to Wisconsin in early August, Weininger began writing a weekly column for The Journal News, a Gannett newspaper in Westchester County, NY. Weininger has been kind enough to share his columns with Badger Nation. The following column ran on August 30. Look for the second Weininger column over the weekend.

Andrew Weininger is an all-state offensive lineman for the Harrison football team. After being courted by numerous schools, Weininger committed to University of Wisconsin in mid-August. Weininger set aside some time to watch former Section I standout Matt Berstein, the Edgemont product, rush for two touchdowns in Wisconsin's season-opening 23-21 win over Fresno State. He will be sharing his thoughts with us as the school year unfolds.

There is no such thing as a "football season." Football is now a year-round sport where the games are only played for a three month period in the fall.

At Harrison, the day after the final game ends, the new season begins. Coach Art Troilo Jr. had the weight room open the Monday after our last game.

This whole summer our team did speed and strength training three times a week. The speed training was done by Tony Iasello, the wrestling coach at Mahopac. I have been working with him since the spring of my sophomore year.

The program involves resisted running, agility drills, quick explosion and cone drills. If you want to reach your full potential as a football player, I believe that this is the way to do it.

This is my fourth year on varsity and this is the hardest I have ever seen our team work. The running and weightlifting programs are not easy, but I think that all the work will pay off.

Monday, Aug. 20 was the first day of practice and everyone was excited to get back on the field. The two weeks of double sessions are mentally and physically grueling. The toughest part is waking up in the morning. I am so sore, but once I get up and start moving around, most of the soreness goes away. Everyone gets bumps and bruises, but you can't let that stop you, it's just part of the sport.

On paper we appear to have a very solid team. Rudy Arcara, Luigi Rogliano and Steve Burton give us great versatility in the backfield. I really believe that our quarterback Pete Kohlasch is going to have a great season. He is a great leader and has done a great job being the catalyst of our offense.

Coach Triolo does a very good job of not letting our team look past any games on our schedule and ahead to the state championship.

It is definitely our goal to win the state championship, but we realize that we have to work really hard to achieve our goals.

When I committed to the University of Wisconsin, it was a huge relief. The fact that I know where I am going to college before my first day of senior year is an amazing position to be in. I wil be able to concentrate on school, football, and enjoying my senior year, rather than worrying about college applications.

I took a lot of visits in the spring, and a few more during the summer. I came away from my first visit in March with a good impression but I wasn't sure if that was the place for me. After that I went on to see numerous schools and I began to realize that the combination of athletics and academics at Wisconsin were perfect for me.

I needed to see the campus and meet the coaches one more time before I decided. So when I went to a family reunion in Illinois, my family took a day to make another visit. It was then that I really knew it was the place for me.

The football program is first class, from the staff to the players to the facilities. I really liked head coach Barry Alvarez, the offensive line coach Jim Hueber and my recruiting coach John Palermo.

With this commitment I know other teams will be gunning for me and people will have high expectations of my performance. I'm ready for the challenge though. I like the idea that people will be watching me.

It was exciting to see Matt (Bernstein) the other night.

When I turned on the game it was great to see the atmosphere at Camp Randall Stadium. And watching and seeing Matt be so successful was really exciting.

Especially since I remember seeing him in high school and now he's succeeding at the Division I level, it made me excited to see him have success at that level.

And just watching and knowing a lot of those players will be my teammates is exciting.

I was just imagining myself out on the field. It was a realistic dream that will be true.

Until then,I really hope the Badgers win and I am going to try to watch every game that I can.

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