KINGSTON — Sounds of barbells chiming filled the air and music blared from the sound system as roughly 55 Kingston High School football players enthusiastically filed into the KHS weight room for the second day of weightlifting testing in preparation for the football season.
Players tested their strength in the back squat Monday, the power clean on Wednesday and the bench press on Friday.
KHS head football coach Dan Novick was pleased to see so many players in attendance.
“We make weightlifting testing a big deal here,” he said. “Weight training is something we’re focusing on not only in our football program, but in all of our athletic programs. We want our kids to be bigger, stronger and faster than our opponents.”
Novick said Monday was the first time KHS athletes got an opportunity to lift in the brand new weight room at KHS. Buccaneers football players spent the majority of their summer working out at North Kitsap High School.
“It’s really exciting to see our kids use the new facility for its intended purposes,” he said. “The kids were pretty excited about getting in here for the first time this week.”
Many athletes have increased the amount weight they can put up in various lifts, Novick said.
“Most of our players are just beginners in weight lifting and they have made some great strides this summer,” he said. “They will keep on continuing to improve as they keep lifting.”
Novick said well-executed power cleans are vital for athletes.
“Cleans are the most important lift we do,” he said. “It’s a highly explosive lift and is relevant to all athletes in all sports. Having proper technique is the most important aspect of cleans.”
Throughout the weight room dozens of athletes worked on cleans with Novick and assistant coaches Scott McKay and Bobby Reece by their side providing instruction.
Buccaneers linebacker Chris Wade was among those pumping iron.
“There’s a great atmosphere in here today. There’s a sense of pride between everyone,” he said. “It’s a good start for the the first year of this football program. I am really excited.”
Buccaneers lineman Roy Swearingen said he was impressed with the quality and size of the KHS weight room.
“This is one of the best weight rooms I’ve seen,” he said. “I am glad our school has something like this.”
As each player partook in the testing process, a half dozen players surround each athlete shouting words of encouragement in an attempt to fire up their teammates to push out a few more repetitions.
“It gives you the extra drive when everyone is watching,” Swearingen said. “It makes the weight feel like it’s 100 pounds lighter.”
Buccaneers defensive end Andrew Hanson said the weight room will have a profound effect on the KHS football program for years to come.
“We’re definitely going to get stronger. It’s going to make a difference on the field,” he said. “It’s good to see a lot of the guys in here working. Having everyone here helps us get through every lift and finish it.”