Trussville’s Andrew Rape makes his bid to go pro
By Erik Harris
TRUSSVILLE – The National Professional Fitness League invited only 200 athletes from across the United States to showcase their talent in Las Vegas next Monday, and CrossFit Trussville owner Andrew Rape is one of them.
“I’m excited for him because you don’t always get recognized when you’re the humble guy,” said his wife Candace. “He just grins when he thinks about it.”
Rape competed in Atlanta on April 25-27, where he impressed enough to get an invitation to the final test in Las Vegas. Much like NFL draft prospects showcase themselves in Indianapolis at the NFL combine, these 200 men and women will put their best foot forward in hopes of becoming a professional athlete.
With another strong performance in front of the sports most influential figures, Rape could be selected in next month’s NPFL draft.
“The National Professional Fitness League is a professional spectator sport that is a series of human performance races,” said NPFL CEO Tony Budding. “The athletes are the pinnacle of human performance; they are the pinnacle of health, longevity, beauty, strength and their coming here to race.”
At its core, the NPFL is closely related to what Rape has been doing for years with CrossFit.
As Budding puts it, “this league is the world’s first legitimate professional spectator sport that’s coed.”
In this it’s first season of existence, the NPFL will field eight teams: Philadelphia Founders, Los Angeles Reign, New York Rhinos, DC Brawlers, Boston Iron, San Francisco Fire, Phoenix Rise and Miami Surge.
Rape, a 2007 graduate of Hewitt-Trussville High School, seems ready to make one of the eight rosters. According to Candace, her husband recorded the heaviest strict shoulder press (265 lbs.), and the heaviest split jerk (415 lbs.) of any athlete competing in the four host cities in April and May.
“He puts in the hours, he eats like you’re suppose to, (and) eating is somewhat of a job when you have to eat as many calories as he has to eat,” Candace said.
The NPFL draft will start at 11 a.m. ET on July 10. It will operate under a snake format and will last at least 12 rounds.
Each team has the option to sign four men and four women from outside the draft pool. The actual draft pool will consist of Rape and the other 199 competitors soon to compete in Las Vegas. Nearly half of the field will soon ascend into the world of pro sports.
Each organization will obtain 20 athletes — half male, half female.
“I don’t know who’s more excited. I don’t know if I’m more excited or if he is; he’s just insanely humble,” said Candace.