This week’s TS athlete of the week is Noah Oufiero. Noah has been training at TruStrength for four years with multiple sports. Noah has been selected because of his willingness to improve. With the Vikings football team off to a hot start, we question Noah about the pressure of playing in a tough Class A North.
TS: How does it feel to be selected as the TS player of the week?
NO: It feels great! Out of all of the athletes there are to choose from, it’s an amazing feeling to be selected to represent our team and school in a positive way.
TS: How has TruStrength impacted your performance on the field?
NO: In the past four years, Coach Wall has driven me to reach my full potential on and off the field. I’ve learned a lot about myself training here. After four days a week for the past four summers I’ve been pushed to my limits as an athlete both mentally and physically. With all the hard work that my teammates and I have put in over time, I've learned that I can put trust in them. I know that they are just as prepared as I am and that the only thing between success and failure on the field is our mental toughness and trust which we build with each other all year long.
TS: At TS, we use the circle of courage, where you won the mastery component, which represents the power of practice. What have you taken away from the circle of courage?
NO: I have realized that there is more to a man than his performance on the field. The circle of courage taught my teammates and I to be the best humans we can be by being honest, generous, trustworthy, and taking responsibility for our actions.
TS: With the football program having about 20 freshmen, how has the experience of leading young men helped you become a better leader off the field?
NO: I have learned that there is only so much I can do to a certain point, where I have to put faith in others to know what they’re doing. I also learned how to be direct with people but still make them feel comfortable and respected.
TS: What is the toughest task you have as a leader? How has TS made that task easier?
NO: With this many new guys in our program the biggest part as a senior leader is getting them to buy in on what we’re trying to do and accomplish as a team. With that many kids you’re bound to have some egos and kids who think that they’re better than everyone else. So I’d say as well as getting them to buy in, it’s also tough to keep everyone mellow headed and in support of each other. Training as a team definitely makes it easier because it’s not a big load all on one person. It’s a group effort and everyone steps up to lead the young guys.
TS: What is your specific routine after football practices?
NO: I drink a lot of water and eat some food. Some days if I’m feeling a little more sore or stiff, I’ll stretch and roll out joints and muscles to help prevent cramps or injuries. Then, I’ll watch some film on our upcoming opponent for the week. I think it is very important to try to get as much rest as possible.
TS: How can you motivate your teammates when you’re facing a tough team such as Thornton Academy?
NO: I motivate my teammates by showing no fear. I just play as hard as I can on every down while staying disciplined and doing my job.
TS: It is evident that you are more coachable now than you were your freshman year, how has TS helped improve that characteristic?
NO: Coach Wall was always keeping on me to better myself. No matter how reluctant I was to learn or try new techniques, he never stopped trying to break through to me. Once I gave in and let him help me work on myself, everything I did in and outside of the gym became much easier and my performance on the field skyrocketed.
TS: With an impressive 48-0 win over Class B Falmouth, how do you think that makes Portland and Cheverus feel after they decided to leave Class A? Do you think Oxford Hills has made a statement proving there are tough teams in Class A?
NO: I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to make a statement like that. It shows that we aren’t going to fold as a team after one bad week or game. We use the term “Bend Don’t Break” as our team motto. It reminds us to bounce back from adversity we might face and come back stronger.
TS: You guys haven't gave up a single point at home yet this season, what has been a defensive strategy?
NO: We just keep it simple. We read our keys, do our jobs, and make big time plays in big time situations. We just play our hearts out from whistle to whistle and trust that the guy next to us will do their job.