When the new school year rolls around, Long County High School athletes will have access to a new weight room and, according to Blue Tide head football coach Kyle Wilson, the new facility is a welcome addition.
"It’s a tremendous advantage. Now we can get more people working out at a time, and it puts us on a level playing field with other schools," Wilson said.
According to the coach, only about 20 people at a time could work out in the old weight room but in the new weight room, that number will double.
"We had 35 guys and four coaches in there the other night and had plenty of room. We can easily have 40 in there at a time and work out effectively," the coach said.
Wilson also said he thinks the additional space and new equipment will help change athletes’ attitudes.
"A lot of people have the mindset that working out with weights is just for the football team, but that’s just not the way it is anymore. To be the best you can be at baseball and basketball, weight training is essential," he said.
According to Wilson, the new facility has 240 square feet of space and will eventually have an office and two restrooms, one for boys and one for girls.
The building cost just under $50,000 and the coach said it was money well spent.
"All a coach wants is to be able to have a chance to compete. I think that the program has gone about as far as it could, and now this will help us get to the next ," Wilson said. "This weight room is as good as any you’ll find at a school our size, and I appreciate Dr. Waters and the Board (of Education) for making this happen."
Long County athletic director Karen Swindell also is excited about the new weight room.
"Our coaches are working hard to help our student athletes excel," she said. "With the addition of the new weight room, our athletes should be bigger, faster and stronger for all of the upcoming seasons."