CENTENNIAL — Matt McChesney is a living, breathing example of the hashtag #nofilter.
Ask him straight-up about why he does what he does, he'll give you a straight-up answer.
"I'm tired of the college football teams in our state sucking, and I'm tired of the high school persona of it being soft here," McChesney said recently. "I give a (expletive).
"I'm trying to change the way football is looked at in the state of Colorado."
McChesney, a graduate of Niwot High, knows what good football is about. He was a member of several standout football teams at the University of Colorado under Gary Barnett, and he worked relentlessly as an undrafted free agent to earn time in the NFL over parts of six years.
His playing days done, McChesney still works on about 40 yards of turf — an area of floor space in his Centennial business Six Zero Strength where you'll often find some of Colorado's top college football recruits doing strength and agility training throughout the year.
It's work he's dedicated himself to, although he admits that not every high school coach in Colorado is sending athletes to bang down his door.
The best part is, he doesn't care. He does not sugarcoat anything to potential athletes about his no-holds-barred training, and yet he still continues to build clientele.
"I ruffle a lot of feathers, but I'm not afraid of that to induce change potentially," he said. "There are a lot of guys that can play here. I feel like sometimes all the tools are not presented to them like they could be, and I'm just trying to show them there's a different way to do things — a way to do it hard, to bust your (tail) every day and be proud of what you put down.
"I'm going to challenge everybody that comes here. I'm not trying to keep everyone here, and in fact one out of every three quit. I'm going to test guys mentally and push them physically, and I'm going to expect them to respond."
Longmont's Tanner Wilkey is one local athlete who has made the trek down to Centennial — more than an hour's drive on a good day — to gain knowledge of the lines and to gain agility before his senior season with the Trojans.
He's part of the "Dungeon Family," a moniker derived from the gym-in-the-basement roots of Six Zero Strength, and as a potential Division I recruit he said he has gained perspective of what it's like to be a college player.
"I don't think there's any other place in Colorado where you can get multiple pro guys coaching you in the same day," Wilkey said. "He expects a lot, and it's intense. It's much more of a collegiate environment than high school and he'll push you a lot harder than anyone else. He gives you a leg up on everybody, and I don't think I'd have an offer from San Diego if it weren't for him."
"Tanner came to me, and he's a big human being, and I said to him ... he's gotten by because he was so damn big," McChesney said. "There were two, maybe three offensive linemen drafted that were more than 330 pounds. We've cut him down, I mean he's lost up to like 30 pounds, and now he's smooth, he's fast, and he's more powerful because he's lean."
Six Zero Strength is also not just a club exclusive to the "hogs," even though McChesney is a self-described "grunt" having been a lineman his entire life. Legacy quarterback Matt Lynch, who is already committed to Colorado State entering his junior prep season, also trains there, and McChesney gets a number of skill position players to work out in the spring and summer.
While he is not trying to take kids away from working out with their teams, McChesney strongly believes that he is doing good with those who commit to him.
One of the other things he feels is important is to know your competition, and that's a driving factor in the All-Colorado teams Six Zero Strength sponsors both before and after the football season. A variety of voices are used to pick the team, including those of high school athletes themselves.
This year, several local players made the preseason All-Colorado list: in addition to Wilkey and Lynch, Fairview's Carlo Kemp and Holy Family's Ryan Younggreen were placed on the team.
It's more than just putting names on a sheet of paper, though. McChesney gathers as many of these athletes as he can together for a photo shoot, which also doubles as a motivational session even if they do not train with him.
"I hate the blue-ribbon mentality, that everyone gets a trophy," McChesney said. "It's blood in the water. I try and get them all together to say, 'look guys, your competition is here, actively in the room. Look no further.'"
McChesney also works with college and pro athletes, especially linemen who are trying to give themselves an edge.
After all, edge is what McChesney's all about.
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