Bonner coaches, athletes pumped for workout room all their own
The first stage of the Braves Training Center, the new weight room at Bonner Springs High School, is complete and receiving positive reviews.
Both BSHS Principal Joe Hornback and wrestling coach Brandon Jobe said they were pleased with the results, and they aren’t the only ones.
“It’s a lot nicer here,” BSHS junior Keith Clark said Tuesday afternoon during a powerlifting session in the weight room. “It’s more convenient. It’s a lot better for our kind of lifting. We don’t have to worry about anybody else getting in the way.”
Prior to the weight room’s opening, someone getting in the way was a worry foremost on the minds of most BSHS athletes. Previously, since the high school had no weight room, Braves athletes wanting to do weight training had to go to the Bonner Springs YMCA to use its weight facilities. There, they had to compete with YMCA patrons for space to work out and train.
Hornback said the idea to create a weight room at the school came up about two years ago, when coaches started voicing their concerns that the YMCA wasn’t offering enough equipment or space for the school’s athletes to train effectively.
“The Y’s a great space … but they don’t have the capability to train a whole team at once,” Hornback said, voicing one of the main problems coaches had with the YMCA being the only place for athletes to lift weights in.
This past summer, Hornback and athletics director John Hilton took an $83,000 proposal, that included new rubber flooring, used equipment and mirrors, to the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville School Board for approval. The board eventually granted $35,000 in capital outlay funds for the project, which Hornback said gave the weight room a good start. The school has subsequently raised another $13,000 through the BSHS Booster Club, individual donations and donations from businesses like Price Chopper and Dari Dine.
With the $48,000, the school has purchased new, slip-resistant rubber flooring, mirrors, eight powerlifting racks and weights. The new weight room is downstairs at the high school, in a room that formerly housed the auto shop.
Hornback said using an already constructed classroom has greatly helped to keep costs down.
“The benefit (in) the way we did it was there was zero construction. We didn’t do anything to this room except lay down the rubber floor,” Hornback said.
Though athletes are enjoying their new-found freedom and space in the weight room, Hornback said there is still more to come. Future plans include outfitting an adjoining classroom in such a way that it can be used as a health and physical education classroom, in addition to adding more equipment.
Hornback said the school needed to raise another $30,000 for the room to reach the potential he sees in it, but he said, for now, he’s happy with what’s been accomplished.
“We’re currently doing that,” Hornback said of trying to raise more funds, “and part of the nice thing about the way we’ve done it is we’ll grow into this room … we have a start now and as our needs develop, I think it’ll make us a little more responsible as far as how we grow the room from here … We’ll be able to see the needs that we have and expand the room as we secure additional funds.”
Until then, the BSHS athletes continue to work in their own weight room.
“(Our) kids are loving it. They’re working as hard as I’ve ever seen them work since I’ve been here,” Jobe said, noting that he’s seen much more motivation from his athletes since the weight room opened. “They’re eager to learn new lifts, get stronger and make themselves better.”