LANCASTER — It’s Thursday afternoon. The Antelope Valley High School football team just finished four days of rigorous mental and physical preparation for today’s second round CIF Southern Section Division 9 playoff game.
Right after the team’s walk-through, the players – dressed in T-shirts, sweat pants and socks – file into the weight room, each grabbing a brightly colored mat from a bin. Instead of pumping iron, they lay down their mats among the machines, turn off two rows of lights and prepare for a different type of exercise.
“Dial in, dial in,” one player says in a normal but authoritative voice just loud enough for his teammates to hear.
The Antelopes are about to embark on their weekly yoga session, in which they eschew warrior-like war cries for inhales and exhales in unison, and work on extending their muscles rather than hardening them.