HANNOVER – Nine Patriot League high school football teams were invited to take part in an athletic combine harvester at Hanover High School on Saturday afternoon, led by the partnership between Kevin Orcutt, president of Hardkore Performance Testing, and Mike Weinstein , the CEO and founder of Zybek Sports.
The combine mirrors much of what is done at the NFL Combine, where collegiate athletes on the verge of being enrolled in the pros can try to improve their potential shooting stock. At this level, however, the ultimate goal is to establish the framework for individual improvement.
“We can show them based on location, graduation year and where they build up athletically,” Weinstein said. “This is not all, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is something tangible to them. We changed the brand of the entire combine to become the standardized test for athletes: the SAT. “
Events such as the 40-yard sprint, wide jump, vertical jump and various cone drills were scattered around the Hanover High football pitch, guided by Zybek Sports sensors to ensure the most accurate time.
“We’ve been doing the NFL Scouting Combine, the infamous 40-yard run, for 10 years now. If you watch YouTube videos, the genius guy, first at the first table, is me every year,” Weinstein joked. “I’ve also been doing things like the Army National Combine for about 12 years and pretty much every other big event. We make sure everyone follows the same timing system we used in the NFL because it’s good for these guys. It is something consistent. We can show them how they compare here in the Northeast, but across the country. “
Weinstein founded Zybek Sports in Colorado 12 years ago, and his athletic and analytical equipment has traveled the nation. It has been integrated into collegiate football programs such as the University of Michigan, the University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and others. Zybek has found its way around the world of sports: it is also used in basketball, lacrosse, hockey and even the United States Olympic Training Center. On Saturday, the Patriot League was able to participate in the combine harvester.
“We make these really big events. We did up to 2,000 babies in one day, so that’s pretty typical. Each of these athletes will receive a report from us tomorrow morning showing how they stack up, “he said.
At a time when football across Massachusetts has been derailed by the pandemic, the combine has provided Patriot League players with the opportunity to improve their status on the recruiting scene, without having to wear pads.
“The college coaches are really happy with that,” Weinstein said. “It’s marketing for these guys. We do not share the results with anyone except the athlete. They can forward them to universities and say “Here are my certified numbers” and that has a lot of weight. “
He continued: “If I’m a freshman here, don’t worry too much about the data, but use it as a baseline. But then, look at the data we give them to show them where they really need to be in three or four years, whatever age they are. . We’re showing them where they are now, where they should be next year, where they should be in college and how to get there. We give them some ideas of what they need to work on to get to that (next) level. “
And with that comes the responsibility to improve.
“The general message is that it’s about you. Use the tools you have to get where you want to be. This is just a tool. Right now, we’ve shown all these athletes where they are and it’s up to you. If they want to get to that next level, they can get to that next level. “
With football scrapping across Massachusetts this fall, the Patriot League has had the opportunity to trade tackles and touchdowns with technology and timing as college recruiting is set to grow in the coming months.