REED CITY — The fun is just beginning for Reed City’s football team. The Coyotes have already started their summer conditioning. It was highlighted by Sunday’s tire-moving drills at the practice field.

The players were trying to drag, pull and move heavily-weighted tires during the drills.

Assistant coach Scott Shankel, supervising Sunday’s workout, noted it would be the last one supervised by coaches as Reed City would observe the next seven days as a “dead week,” as mandated by the MHSAA.

“It’s tires, we do tires on Sunday and we lift on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Shankel said. “It’s been every Sunday since we got out of school. This is our fourth one of the summer. We do about eight minutes for each station and there’s five stations.”

The high school teams can take the dead week at various times but Reed City and other schools usually tend to opt for the Fourth of July week.

Players involved in the condition sessions were mostly high school ages, grades nine through 12.

“There’s actually a couple of younger ones,” Shankel said. “It’s open to everybody.”

To say players are encouraged to participate in these sessions is a huge understatement.

“Our football players know they need to be here,” Shankel said. “It’s voluntary, still but if they want to be at 100 percent, they know what it takes. We’ve had real good participation.”

The biggest tires the players flip during their participation weigh  between 150 and 225 pounds while the smaller ones are at 50 to 75 pounds, Shankel estimated.

The sessions seem to have paid off for the Coyotes.

“It hasn’t hurt us the last three years, has it?” Shankel smiled, referring to three consecutive 9-0 and Central State Activities Association (CSAA) championship seasons. “It’s kind of a change.”

The July schedule calls for blocking camps on Mondays and Wednesdays with weightlifting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus various dates for passing camps. A skills camp is set for the last week in July.