Mt. Hope footballer going on road to help Huskies at home

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While many student athletes are enjoying their first days of summer vacation with leisurely activities, Mt. Hope High School football player Sam Forden is on the playing field, working to improve his game for next season.

To that end, Forden and his receivers coach, George Andrade, were on the practice field behind Mt. Hope High School where they, and Forden’s teammate Jake Ramos, worked informally on some of the techniques the players will use on the gridiron this fall.

On Thursday, Forden will take those drills on the road, where after a week of intense training, he, along with 200 other high school athletes from across the country, will compete for a position on the team to compete in the USA National Development program.

After receiving an invitation by e-mail to train in the Los Angeles-based football program, Forden, who moved to Bristol from Colorado last year, decided to head west to take advantage of the training opportunity.

At 5’9” and 145 pounds, the wide receiver/safety hopes the off-season work will help him and his teammates this fall.

“It’s kind of like an Olympic training program,” Forden said of the intensive training. “We’ll train here through Wednesday, then I’ll leave for California on Thursday.”

Mr. Andrade calls Forden a “trailblazer” for seeking out the off-season opportunity and hopes his experience will help lift the team.

“What I’ve found out is that he’s a character guy,” Mr. Andrade said. “He’s the future of the program. It’s a legitimate training program. I don’t just want him to be part of the program. I want him to make the National team.”

Besides the personal gains Forden hopes to take from the experience, both he and Mr. Andrade see the gains potential for the entire Mt. Hope team.

“These are all learning moments,” Mr. Andrade said. “We all stand upon each other’s shoulders. We want to look at the positives this year. It’s nice that Sam is the trailblazer.”

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