Intermountain League opponents will see a lot less of Timberlake High’s Allen Foote this fall but a lot more to his game.
Foote, at 6-feet-2 and 315 pounds, was an All-IML lineman last season, but he dropped 40 pounds by turning out for the wrestling team last winter and he’s kept it off as the Tigers prepare to defend their 2010 IML football championship.
Foote was skeptical when football coach Roy Albertson recommended Foote turn out for wrestling.
“I’d never wrestled before and I was set on playing basketball,” Foote said. “I’d played basketball the last five years, but I was like, ‘OK, I’ll give it a try.’ ”
The combination of wrestling practice, weight-lifting and healthier eating helped Foote shed pounds quickly. He estimated losing about six pounds per practice. As the first wrestling match approached, Foote made it below the 285-pound limit for the heavyweight class. He was one of two Tigers to place at state, earning sixth.
Foote maintained a healthy diet and workout schedule this summer.
“He was a decent offensive lineman last year, but defensively he wasn’t getting off blocks and getting pressure on the quarterback as much as we would have liked,” Albertson said. “He did an outstanding job at Montana’s football camp. He was getting in the backfield before he got blocked. He went from poor lateral ability to outstanding lateral ability.”
Foote has noticed the difference in pre-season drills.
“It takes a lot out of you when you’re moving as much weight as I was moving as often as I was moving it,” said Foote, who weighed nearly 300 pounds in seventh grade. “Before my lower back would always hurt. When I started wrestling, my back wasn’t as stiff. I couldn’t even do a pull-up, but once I started losing weight I could do it.
“I noticed right away my general quickness was better and I was making more plays than last season. I just felt more refreshed and I wouldn’t be out of gas as fast.”
Foote has high expectations for the defense and the Tigers.
“I’ve set my goals higher. I want to make all-state,” said Foote, who hopes to continue playing in college. “And hopefully we’re going to make a state championship run this year, get the first one in school history.”