Commercial-News | Scott Hassinger Past winners’ names and pictures of former Mendon football Gatorman winners are placed on the wall in the high school weight room.

Mendon Gatorman competition a test of pure athleticism

MENDON — The Gatorman Competition is a late summer tradition in Mendon’s storied football program.
It’s a three-day test of strength, speed and endurance designed to heighten the excitement of the Hornets’ players before the official start to the season.
Mendon’s coaching staff began the Gatorman Competition in 1998.
“It’s a three-day competition of strength and conditioning consisting of the bench press (150 pounds) , box squat (205 lbs.), power cleans (115 lbs.) along running a 40-yard dash, 400-meter run and the 800 run,” said Mendon varsity football coach Bobby Kretschman.
Participants score one point per running event and two points for every rep they do on the weights.
The top 11 finishers among the high school players are the 2019 Gatormen and receive T-Shirts and the overall winner gets his name on a plaque that hangs on the wall in Mendon’s weight room.
Former Mendon head coach John Schwartz, an accomplished wood worker, supplies the plaques each year to the winners with a mini Mendon Helmet on them along with their name and overall points scored in the competition inscribed on the plaque.
The top six finishers in the middle school division are also Gatormen with more modified weights and the same running distances to determine the winner.
“It’s a nice competition that allows the kids a chance to stay competitive until practice officially starts,” Kretschman said. “We’ve used the same scoring system since the inception of the competition. It’s a tradition that goes back a few years and keeps the kids’ competitive juices flowing. Its about who is the purest athlete.”
This year’s Gatorman event was held Aug. 2, Aug. 5 and Aug. 7.

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