The Woodstock pg 11 12-6-18


Assistant strength and conditioning coach Jeff Higgins works with the football team.  Photo by Marc Allard.

The Woodstock Academy football team filed in last week to the weight room on the South Campus of the school for the first day of off-season work.
The words flew out of many of their mouths, “It smells new in here.”
That’s because most of what is in the former wrestling room is just that- brand new.
Thanks to an anonymous donation, strength and conditioning coaches Brenden Ostaszewski and Jeff Higgins have a new home.
“It’s wonderful,” said athletic director and football coach Sean Saucier. “We’re very fortunate to have the donations to provide such a top-notch room for our athletes. It’s exciting. It looks beautiful. The strength coaches are excited, the kids are excited. We’re going to have hundreds of athletes utilizing that space.”
The work was completed over the Thanksgiving break and the first workouts in the facility took place Nov. 28.
“The new weight room allows us to serve more athletes in a shorter time frame. A lot of the athletes come in after school from about 2:15 p.m. to about 5 p.m. before practice starts in the evening,” Ostaszewski said.
The demand for training for athletic teams is larger in the offseason so 75 minutes of time on weekday afternoons is blocked off for offseason athletes. There are scheduled team lifts, for those teams in-season, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The physical education department at Woodstock Academy also has access to the room.
The weight room had been in the same building, which also houses the South Campus gymnasium, only on the lower level. That area now houses cardio workout equipment such as treadmills and elliptical machines.
The new weight room has six squat racks with Ostaszewski hoping that number will double in the near future.
It also has six benches and several sets of power blocks (adjustable dumb bells).
The highlight of the room, however, is what makes it rather appetizing to the eye.
Down the entire right side of the room is a strip of turf, resembling a football field.
The turf will be used for speed and agility training as well as dynamic warmups.
It’s an area that Ostaszewski wishes he would have had growing up in Pennsylvania.
“We had a class-sized room with one or two squat racks, and one or two benches, that’s it,” Ostaszewski said. “This is going to better serve all of the students here at The Academy. We have two certified strength coaches on staff. I wish I had that when I was in high school. It’s going to help the students later on in life. Some of them won’t be able to play college or professional sports, but it’s going to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood.”
The presence of the strength and conditioning coach already started to show results last year with the prep basketball teams, Saucier said.
The addition of a second coach and the new weight room can only expand that progress.
“I’m excited see where we are two years down the road because it takes time. Now that we have the spaces in place and the programs in place, all formalized, the kids are lifting and training and I’m excited to see what the benefits will be,” Saucier said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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