Break the Rock: Cavaliers celebrate end of summer workouts

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - When the Virginia football team ends summer workouts, they end them with a bang.

‘Breaking the Rock’ has become a tradition at UVA, and senior defensive lineman Mandy Alonso was given the honor of breaking the rock at the end of the workout on Friday morning.

“Oh, I loved it,” says Alonso. “I was super excited. I worked really hard, and I’m glad coach got to pick me.”

Junior linebacker Nick Jackson says, “There’s nobody better. There’s nobody better. I didn’t even have question on who it was going to be. I knew it was going to be him the entire time.”

The ‘Break the Rock’ ceremony started in 2018, and Olamide Zaccheaus was the first UVA player to ever break the rock.

Alonso was handed the sledgehammer to break the rock for the first time in his career on Friday, and the senior received high marks for his hit.

“Oh, that swing was awesome, did you see that?” asked Jackson. “You got to love that. You got to love that. That’s moments you live for.”

The Cavalier players collected pieces of the rock as souvenirs following the mighty swing.

Alonso is back for a 5th season with the ‘Hoos, and he’s ready to lead.

“I’m not really like the big vocal guy on the team, but when I say something, I mean it.” says Alonso. “I like to lead by example, so I always have to be the hardest worker out here.”

Jackson adds, “He’s a class act, just looking at him. He’s a person, who when he says, ‘Let’s go,’ you gotta go. You know what I’m saying?”

After pulverizing the rock, Alonso told his teammates he loved them, and added, “Let’s go! Beat Tech on ‘Set.’ SET!”

“Beat Tech!” cheered the Wahoos.

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