Dozens of contestants with the United Way of Florence County’s Florence’s Biggest Loser hit the field at the Florence Center Saturday morning for a football-themed workout. The workout was led by the coaches and players of Florence’s new professional indoor football team, the Carolina Havoc. 


“We thought the physicality that football requires would be a great way for the contestants to start their final week of the competition”, said Carolina Havoc General Manager, Steven Smith. “Plus, doing activities like these where we can connect with the community and the people who live here is what this team really wants to do. Carolina Havoc is open to participating in anything and everything that not only allows us to give back to the community, but to also set an example of health and fitness for this community’s youth and adults.”


Before taking the contestants through the workout, the team first got them warmed up by having the contestants do different exercises up and down the field. These exercises included high knees, butt kicks, lunges, sprints and high kicks. 


For the main part of the workout, the Havoc team set up four stations that included drills and exercises the players use to help warm up and practice before a game. 


At Station One, the contestants were instructed to quickly move around four cones step up in the shape of a square. However, instead of being able to run normally around each cone, the contestants ran to the first cone, side shuffled to the left to get to the second cone, ran backwards to the third cone and then finished up by side shuffling to right towards the last cone before tagging in the next contestant.


At Station Two, the contestants went on the defense and practiced the same rotation around the four cones that they performed in Station One, only this time, the contestants performed a side step while in a crouched position commonly used by defensive players.

At Station Three, the contestants’ speed, agility and response time were tested with a running drill. A contestant would start by running to one cone and then a Havoc player would have them change directions and run to a cone in the opposite direction. As soon as they hit that cone, the contestant would then side shuffle to a third cone before having to turn around and run to another cone. The tight turns and sudden direction changes let the contestants experience how the players have to literally be able to think quickly on their feet during the game.


At the final station, Station Four, the contestants got to practice an actual play by catching a pass and running into the in-zone to score a touchdown. The contestants and players took turns as the quarterback to pass the ball to the next contestant in line who would run and try to catch the pass before running it in to score. If the contestant caught the pass and scored, they were encourage to do their own version of a touchdown celebration by either spiking the ball or doing a victory dance. 


After all four teams tried each station, the Havoc team brought all the contestants back together to compete in several relay races in their teams. The contestants started out by speed walking to the halfway line before speed walking back to their team to tag the next contestant in and then progressed all the way up to running the distance. The players then challenged all the contestants to leave it on the field and give it their all with one last sprint across the field to finish out the event.


By the end of the hour and a half workout, the contestants were tired, sweaty and still smiling.


“This was one of the hardest, but best workouts I’ve had during the last nine weeks,” said contestant Rebecca Kearns. “I’m exhausted, but we all had a lot of fun.”


The Florence’s Biggest Loser contestants will celebrate the end of the 2019 competition with a finale party sponsored by Pepsi of Florence, Pee Dee Food Services and the Senior Citizens Association in Florence County on Thursday, March 28th. They will come back together for one last workout with a Kayak Attack led by Naturally Outdoors on March 31st.


The Carolina Havoc’s next home game will at 3:05pm on Sunday, April 14th at the Florence Center.