STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — As he reflected on the end of the Marble Falls High School boys soccer team’s season, head coach and athletics director Rick Hoover said his top offseason goal was more weightlifting sessions for his players.
“We’re still building and changing dynamics,” Hoover said shortly after the Mustangs’ season ended with a 6-0 loss to Pharr Valley View in a Class 5A Region IV semifinal game. “I would like to have (the players) in the weight room more. That will definitely be in our favor if we’re able to do that.”
One obstacle to that goal is the large number of athletes in all sports using the school’s weight room at a time. While having so many student-athletes trying to reap the benefits of strength training is beneficial to the athletics department, too many sharing the same facility can reduce the effectiveness of training sessions.
That changes June 1, when the athletics department christens a second weight room, a welcome addition, said high school boys coordinator Mike Birdwell.
“More and more of our programs are starting to lift,” he said. “We needed more space.”
Walk into the Marble Falls weight room during the two main athletic periods and it can be difficult to find a path from one station to the other.
“(Head softball) coach (Tim) Richter has cranked it up for the softball girls,” Birdwell said of the program’s weight training efforts. “We have coaches buying into strength and conditioning. That’ll give them an edge.”
The Marble Falls Athletics Booster Club is covering most of the $40,000 cost of the new facility. The athletics department will pay the difference, Birdwell said.
The new weight room, which will be in a current campus building located between Max Copeland Gym and the first weight room, will features eight lifting stations, free weights, medicine balls, and other equipment, Birdwell said.
The new weight room can be used by 30-50 student-athletes at a time.
A big benefit of having a second weight room is that coaches will be better able to observe and instruct their students since there will be less congestion.
The new weight room should be ready in time for summer strength and conditioning for rising seventh- through 12th-graders.
The girls strength-and-conditioning program is 8-10 a.m. June 11-July 19. The boys program is 8-10 a.m. June 18-Aug. 2. Cost is $100 for the entire program, which runs Mondays-Thursdays. The fee is due June 1. Sibling discounts are available for families.
Coach Chuck Cook will lead the boys sessions, while coach Richard Powers will lead the girls sessions.
Birdwell said coaches want to see 200 athletes every session during the summer.
“I think it’s essential for the success to have weight room space available,” he said. “They can work the core, the fundamental lifts of their sports. We’ll have the space and capability to monitor them in a safe environment.”
Email athletics department receptionist Shelby Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.