Bigger, Faster Stronger | Chargers prepare for summer workouts

Jacob Meseke | sports editor 

With the school year winding down, athletes look forward to summer weights. Summer weights is a time for athletes to stay in shape throughout the offseason. There will also be practices for most sports.

“Summer weights can help athletes get more explosive, keeping them in shape, and getting their muscles ready so they are able to compete at a high level,” said weights coach Garrett Eck. 

Coaches Eck and Jess Rutledge are continuing to build the program more each year. This year there will be two different sessions for the boys.

“Every single year we are growing. The expectation and culture is growing every year. We have the highest number we’ve ever had this year, so we had to move to two sessions for boys which is awesome,” Eck said.

Coach Rutledge said, “Summer weights will help students become better athletes and keep them from falling behind. The summer strength & conditioning program is a huge part of all athletics at Wabaunsee. The summer is essential to development because more time can be dedicated to athletes improving themselves physically and mentally for the upcoming school year’s sports seasons. Also, not all athletes are afforded as many opportunities during the school year, so this is a time for them to really expand their athletic capabilities.”

“If you don’t want to fall behind, you need to get in the weight room. At the end of the day you can be a good athlete, but the stronger, faster, and more explosive you are the better you are going to be and the more it will help you,” Eck said.

The structure of weights will be the same as last year. Main lifts will be first and then conditioning and explosive work will follow in the gym. 

As he does for everything, coach Eck has goals for summer weights. 

“Try to get higher numbers this year to 100% attendance than we had last year. Last year we had around 14 and we’re trying to get that number between our high school boys, girls, and junior high closer to 25. We have high expectations, but overall we just want kids to get in and get better.

Rutledge emphasized that although he and Eck coach football, the summer program is designed for all athletes. “The stigma of “it’s just football workouts” or “the only goal is to make people really bulky” is nonsense. We work to build all types of athletes that are stronger, faster, more flexible, explosive and well-conditioned; not bodybuilders. Also, there is no such thing as a ‘football only workout.’ That’s what football practice is designed for, the same as it is for any other sports practice.”

Summer practices begin June 1 and will pause June 28-July 4 for a summer moratorium. Coaching restrictions for basketball, football and volleyball begin July 19, although other sports may continue to practice.

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