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Nonsanctioned teams taking advantage of MHS weight room

Mitchell Marlins hockey player Cole Koons has lifted weights for several years, but the junior defenseman said it is nice to have a team workout in the Mitchell High School weight room.

“It is very helpful to be able to use the weight room,” Koons said. “It helps the team bond a little more.”

Mitchell High School renovated its weight room over the summer, but questions loomed early in the school year about nonsanctioned sports teams — hockey, baseball, softball, etc. — using the equipment.

Mitchell Activities Director Geoff Gross put those questions to bed in an interview with The Daily Republic in October, saying “Any team, including a nonsanctioned program, is permitted to use the weight facilities at MHS as long as an approved time has been set and an adult school employee supervisor, who has been approved by the school district, is present.”

Since then, both the Mitchell Marlin girls’ and boys’ hockey and Mitchell softball teams have taken advantage of the chance to get in the weight room. Both teams work with Andrew Murphy of Avera’s Acceleration Program.

The program is designed to develop an athlete’s speed to maximum potential.

Koons said the workouts have been really good, adding the team does lunges, plyometrics and other lifting exercises to work on upper body strength and the core.

“I know they are going to get bigger and stronger,” Marlins boys’ head coach John Lord said. “Our goal is to have them at their best by the middle of March in time for the state tournament.”

The girls’ and boys’ hockey teams work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The girls lift in the morning before school, while boys workout in the afternoon.

“I think the work outs are fantastic,” Marlins girls’ head coach Amanda Young said. “I believe the girls will gain some much-needed strength to help them perform at a higher level. It will definitely make them faster skaters and stronger on their skates.”