Mike LoParo has taken over a Hilliard Bradley High School football program that will begin its third season in August.

Mike LoParo has taken over a Hilliard Bradley High School football program that will begin its third season in August.

Although turning the Jaguars into a playoff team won't be easy, LoParo believes his players already are familiar with the blueprint for success.

"First of all, I made it a point at the opening meeting with the players that winning was their choice, not mine," said LoParo, who coached the past three seasons at Delaware. "They don't have far to look to see a powerhouse program. Davidson has won two (Division I) state titles (since 2006) and Darby made the playoffs last season. There is no reason why we shouldn't grasp some of that success and have a team that is that successful."

So at 6 a.m. each school day, before LoParo heads to his teaching position at Delaware, Bradley football players meet in the weight room and work to become stronger physically and as a team.

"Right now, all I have been able to see kids do is lift," LoParo said. "Based on what I've seen on film, we have talented skill kids, but we have to find linemen who are physical and quick.

"The thing we try to do every day is compete. We put the racks facing each other and push them on weights and have them compete against each other. We're not just going through the motions. We have some big kids in the lower levels and we have to make sure they mature as much as they can."

One of the offseason leaders also was a leader last season when the Jaguars finished 3-7 under coach Ted Wierzbicki. Junior Blake Scipio led Bradley in rushing with a program-record 757 yards on 96 carries with eight touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 108 yards and a score and had an interception and forced a fumble as a linebacker.

"Coach LoParo came in ready to work and ready to put us through workouts to build a winning program," Scipio said. "The enthusiasm shown by the coaches and players has been great. We have had 40-plus kids in the weight room every day and the coaches we have are still at Delaware and drive 40 minutes every morning to put us through the workouts. That shows how committed they are to us."

LoParo said junior receiver/defensive back Walid Abdel-Jabbar has been "a cornerstone in the weight room." Other leaders have included juniors Tony Harvard (LB), Ricky McGrath (OL), Dominic Racanelli (OL) and Terell Stanford (RB/DB).

"We have 10 days to work with the kids and we plan to use them in July," LoParo said. "I have split them up before, but I have found if you split them up you have to re-teach things as far as football knowledge. We try to keep them close together so we don't have a big knowledge lapse between workouts.

"As far as 7-on-7 leagues, we have Hartley in the third week of July with Watterson and Bexley and the following week at (Dublin) Jerome with a whole slew of teams."

Bradley also will be changing on the offensive side of the ball from a spread to an option attack.

"We have 120 days until kickoff and we have a lot of things to do before then," LoParo said. "They have the ability to work together on weekends when we can't coach them and they also have to get it done in the classroom. In 12 years as a coach, I have found that they have to take care of that first."