By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The new weight room at Del Norte High School was buzzing with activity early Monday evening, as football players - from incoming freshman to seniors - were hard at work training for the football season.
The new facility, which features modern weightlifting equipment and enough space for several players to work out at the same time is quite a step-up from the old facility - a small, cramped andquot;metal box,andquot; which had outdated facilities, with long waits for the players to use equipment .
Roger andquot;Bronkandquot; McCovey, a junior, said it's a tremendous help to have new equipment to work out on.
Before, it was more difficult to get the best workout possible in the old facility, he said.
andquot;It's a lot better,andquot; McCovey said. andquot;You get to do your workout with out having to wait and wasting your time.andquot;
Increase in participants
Lewis Nova, head coach of the varsity football squad, said he has seen a sharp increase in attendance for the football team summer workout program - which occurs four time a week, with the players having a choice of morning or evening workouts.
Coaches are on-hand to help players with their weight training programs.
Last season, he estimated around seven incoming freshmen took part. This year, around 20 are involved.
Nova added having new, more spacious facilities has been great andquot;with moraleandquot; and helps to emphasize and encourage the importance of getting into good physical shape so they will be at their best when the pads are put on for game action.
By having the new facilities, Nova is hopeful the players will continue to strive to move to the next level - not just being satisfied with district titles but aiming for greater heights, such as a section title.
Last season, the Warriors went undefeated in the Big 5 Conference and made it further than any team in school history by winning two North Coast Section playoff games before falling to Novato High.
Having Novato dominate them and seeing where they were in terms of speed and strength, Nova said many of his players andquot;want to get faster and stronger because they want to compete at that level.andquot;
Senior Trevor Rook said he and his fellow players are determined to do what it takes to have a terrific season. Lifting weights is part of the effort it takes to be the best they can be, he said.
andquot;All of this is getting you ready,andquot; Rook said.
Junior Brock Coulson said he has been thinking about football all summer - and is hard at work to make sure he is in good physical condition.
He has been in the weightroom this summer and said he is in good physical shape and has improved his stamina doing a number of andquot;hard workoutsandquot; to be in top-notch shape come fall.
Already, he can consistently lift 225 pounds in power cleans and hopes to soon get to 250.
andquot;I want to get stronger and better for the football season so we can win and go far in the playoffs,andquot; he said.
Incoming freshmen T.J. Scott and Trevor Babich are taking part in the weightlifting program.
Both said they want to be sure they will be prepared for freshman football.
andquot;It's fun, but it's also hard,andquot; Scott said, adding he has worked hard to improve his strength and stamina, and can lift more than when he first started.
Babich said at the beginning of the summer, in the clean lifts, he started with 45 pounds and can now consistently lift 105 pounds.
andquot;I've seen quite bit of difference,andquot; he said.
Junior Varsity line coach Ray Rook said he has been very impressed with the dedication and effort of the players in the weight room this summer.
This can only help the players and the program do better, he said.
And, by being in better shape physically, the players can better handle the grind of the season, and hopefully avoid serious injury by being in top condition, Rook said.
By participating, the players are andquot;better prepared to play the game and are getting faster getting stronger,andquot; he said.