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The weight training program welcomes more students than ever

Strength coach talks about the changes and improvements that occured this year

Paige Anderson, Staff Reporter
Originally published January 15, 2019

Julian WhitworthColin Matthiesen, left, coaches an athlete during morning practice.

Julian Whitworth

Colin Matthiesen, left, coaches an athlete during morning practice.

After the weight room was remodeled in October of 2017, special education assistant and head coordination of the weight room, Colin Matthiesen took over the program and altered it completely, inspiring students to improve their physical and mental health.

Weightlifting sessions are held before and after school and alternate days each week. Matthiesen plans very generic, broad workouts that can be applied to every athlete and can be altered if needed to better fit the student.

Before the program was under Matthiesen’s control, at most 30 students would attend a session. Now, over the course of a week, the program sees over 200 athletes from every sport.

“I was frustrated with the lack of involvement,” Matthiesen said. In order to get more athletes to participate, Matthiesen began talking with other coaches to help increase interest in the program.

“The kids have fun when they come in here,” Matthiesen said. “When other people come in, they feel the atmosphere and want to come back.”

Since the program has grown so much over the past few months, Matthiesen hopes to get an assistant. Safety is his main priority and having someone else who focuses primarily on lifting can ensure that no one gets injured.

“We have a lot of bodies and safety is always my number one thing,” Matthiesen said. “I want to make sure we have enough eyes.”

Matthiesen is currently getting help from other coaches and his captains such as senior, Alec Sigmar. Sigmar was first introduced to the weight program when he was a freshman and continues to attend the sessions to stay in shape for wrestling, football and baseball.

“It’s something I enjoy because I get to push myself to new limits and continually better myself,” Sigmar said. “I find myself in a better state than I did the day before.”

The feeling of pushing yourself is one many other athletes strive for, such as senior Freeman Marshall who was introduced to the weight program through cheer.

“When I’m at weight room, I really get to focus on me and my self-improvement,” Marshall said. “It really helps me push myself to be better without having anyone else pushing me to do it.”

Marshall and Sigmar were picked this fall by Matthiesen to be captains for the program along with senior Ana Marbett, junior Jack Berard and sophomore Peter Fathi.

“I feel a lot of responsibility for me to encourage and teach the younger girls coming to be stronger,” Marshall said.

With the help of Marshall and Marbett, Matthiesen was able to welcome many female students to the program who participate in cheer, wrestling, basketball and many other sports.

During the first week of summer, an all girls session was held and over 40 females attended. Although it was originally supposed to be for the one week, it was so successful, Matthiesen decided to offer the session for the rest of summer.

“With girls like Ana and Freeman who have become very strong, girls can look at them and know that they can do it,” Matthiesen said.

Last September the weight program was just a place where a few students would go to stay in shape, now it’s a community with a mix of males and females from all different types of sports who go to improve their mental and physical health.

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The weight training program welcomes more students than ever