Power with a plan

JONATHON ERBES is one of many Tracy Area High School student-athletes who are benefitting from a renewed strength and conditioning program at the school this summer. Photo / Per Peterson

A unified athletic enhancement regimen implemented at Tracy Area High School has taken a popular program started years ago to a new level

The goals and expectations are numerous, the process long, but the interest is high for the renewed Tracy-Milroy-Balaton Panther Athletic Enhancement Program that has been gaining more momentum this summer at Tracy Area High School.

Under the guidance of history teacher and football coach Alex Greenway, Panther athletes are being put to the test in the weight room this summer in a school-supported, regimented and recommitted effort to build strength and increase speed, agility, resiliency and confidence among Panther athletes.

And the timing couldn’t be better, since student-athletes hadn’t been able to do anything in the weight room since early March when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered all schools.

“This is something I’m really passionate about,” Greenway said. “This is just my plan for one way to do it. To me, training means a lot of different things — it doesn’t always mean just lifting, it means a lot of things. Training is more than just strength. Like a car, if you put too many miles on it without getting it serviced, something is going to go wrong.”

Greenway said in the past, the weight room during the summer would get less crowded after the 4th of July. Not so this year. And not only that, student-athletes are not skipping out of their commitment, mainly, he said, because the program is more personalized than ever.

“Whether it’s the right group at the right time or just the way we’re doing it, the kids have really bought into it,” he said.

Greenway’s program essentially builds off the school district’s organized effort in the fall of 2017 to get more student-athletes in the weight room on a more consistent basis. During distance learning this spring, coaches and TAHS Activities Director Bill Tauer got together to discuss the school’s weight program and how they can better utilize what is regarded as a top-notch weight room at the high school. The school district has been paying Sanford to have certified athletic trainer Khyle Radke oversee the lifting program at the high school, but now Radke will handle the speed and conditioning side of training. That opened the door for Greenway to firmly implement his training program.

“The coaches really felt they’d like to go the direction of having it in-house and run by our coaches,” Tauer said. “Alex has a passion for this, and he’s been overseeing everything this summer. Right now, for this summer, Alex is the head of the weight room, with Kyle helping him with the speed and agility stuff.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.