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Team Conditioning Systems:
Athlete Spotlight: Damian Baltodano

Thursday, September 2, 2004

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

When you think of professional football players such as Adam Archuleta, Ronnie Lott, Ray Lewis and Deion Sanders, the thought that might come to mind is a very confident defensive player who seems to be around the ball on every play. These are players who have worked hard on every aspect of their game and have become very noticeable by their peers and fans throughout the National Football League. There’s a high school football player by the name of Damian Baltodano who is well on his way of building the confidence of being a sound defensive player in South Jersey. Sticking to his plan, Baltodano has been conditioning with Graig White’s Team Conditioning Systems, getting an early start preparing for football life as a Panther at Camden High.

“Graig White is helping me become a better athlete so that I can achieve my goals,” Baltodano mentioned after completing day one of his conditioning. Every challenge put in front of him during his workouts was nothing but another hurdle to overcome. Let’s take one of the workouts, the TCS famous “inch worm”. When standing in the room and Mr. White shouts out the next exercise, most cringe at those two small words knowing how tough the workout will be. Baltodano has made the “inch worm” his favorite exercise and choose performing the “wheel barrel” to be his most challenging.

Needless to say, this varsity letter sophomore at “The High” has made football the sport that gives him the most satisfaction. “It’s the mental and physical parts I like the most. I like the feeling of being on the field ready to make a tackle or get an interception.” Baltodano also has prepared for this sport not only on the field, but in the books. His greatest accomplishment was when he received high marks on his report card, knowing again that no hurdle is too high to overcome.

When Ronnie Lott, one of Baltodano’s favorite athlete, stepped up to the microphone to give his acceptance speech in Canton, Ohio, here’s one of the memories he brought to our attention reflecting on where it all started. “I couldn’t of made it this far without my teachers and coaches. They were all giants in my life. My high school coach, Bill Christopher, who would make us listen to the General Patton speech, and I don’t know if you guys have heard the General Patton speech, but I’d lay there every night in the dark thinking about what it’s like to be an American and how we don’t tolerate losers. It toughened our spirit and strengthened our resolve and I appreciate it.”

Photos by Nancy L. Pope

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