CALCUTTA - Toward the end of the 2010-11 school year, Beaver Local's Jared Lyder decided it was time to lose.
By deciding to lose, Lyder has definitely become "A Winner" both on the basketball court and in his own physical health.
Lyder is currently one of the top scorers and rebounders in the area, averaging 21.1 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. The senior has topped the 20-point plateau, 14 times thus far this season, hitting a season-high 33 versus Toronto. His top rebounding effort was 19 versus United.
As a freshman in 2010-11 season, Lyder stood 6-foot tall and weighed approximately 275 pounds. By the time the 2012-13 school year ended, Lyder was down to 170 pounds, resulting in an amazing loss of 105 pounds in two years' time.
By this time, Lyder was very comfortable with his weight, and he knew that for him to be successful on the basketball court, he had to put some badly-needed muscle on his frame which had now grown to 6-foot-4. Working strenuously in the weightroom while judiciously watching his nutritional intake, Lyder added 25 pounds, most of it muscle, to his frame.
How did he lose all this weight and what was the reasoning behind it?
"In the summer after my freshman year, I knew that I needed to lose some weight," Lyder said. "Not just for basketball, but I knew that carrying that much weight around wasn't good for my body. We have an elliptical exercise machine at home and one day I just started working out on it. I also cut my calorie intake down to between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day. Before, I used to eat when I was bored. I didn't think anything of eating a couple of Little Debbie's just to have something to do."
His eating habits are different now.
"I eat a bowl of cereal in the morning. That's important, as it keeps me from getting hungry," he said. "For lunch, I generally pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For dinner, I eat normally. My mom is a real good cook and she fixes some great meals. I just don't each a whole lot, such as seconds and thirds. Moderation is the key."
As a freshman, Lyder played almost every minute of every freshman game.
"The only reason I got to play was that we only had five guys," Lyder said. "There were even a couple of games that we finished with four after one fouled out. They had to let me play. There was no one else to put in."
As the summer of 2011 wore on, Lyder started to see results almost every time he looked in the mirror.
"Once I started to see results, I hit the elliptical even harder," he said. "I eventually got myself up to 20 miles per day on it. Without the machine, I wouldn't have been able to have sustained those workouts. If I had been out running on the roads, I would have torn up my shins and feet."
Working out was nothing new in the Lyder household. Both his mother and father keep physically fit and enjoy running. His father has run one marathon and three half-marathons.
Jeremy Christen was Lyder's coach his freshmen year, and now three years later, is reaping the benefits in his first year as the head basketball coach at Beaver Local.
"During the summer after his freshman year, we didn't see much of Jared," Christen said. "The coaches didn't even think he was all that interested in playing much more basketball. When he walked through the gym door the first time at the beginning of his sophomore year, he was down to about 230 pounds. Chins just dropped. It was amazing. The best part of it was that he lost it on his own and that he did primarily to improve his health."
"After basketball was over my freshman year, I went on a crash diet," Lyder said. "I lost 16 pounds in one week, but I felt terrible. After stopping that diet, I gained all the weight right back as it was just water that I had lost."
In talking about Lyder's basketball abilities, Christen said, "Every time Jared steps on the floor, the opponents are very conscious of where he is. He is tough to defend. If a guy his size or bigger guards him, Jared takes the guy outside and beats him with his quickness. If the guy is smaller, Jared will post him up. We haven't built our offense around him. The great thing is that Jared does it within the context of the offense. He is very much a team player."
Lyder was working out so hard this fall, that Christen finally had to back him off.
"Jared was out running five to six miles per day, just for maintenance,'" Christen said. "Plus, by working out almost every day in the weight room, he wasn't giving his body a chance to recover from the workouts. I had to banish from the weight room for two weeks."
Lyder has had a lot of support with controlling his weight, working in the classroom and excelling on the basketball court.
"I have to give credit to my Grandma Lyder," he said. "She has always been telling me that if you want to be successful, you have to work at it. If you work at it, it will happen. I truly believe that."
That belief has made Lyder "a winner" in more ways than one.