Soon, now, all Estherville Lincoln Central students will have more than a "leg up" on the competition, thanks to a $50,000 donation toward new weight equipment from the ELC Booster Club.
Booster Club president Chris Quastad said the money is intended for equipment for student conditioning for all sports. The money came from a variety of sources, including donations, concessions and memberships. "Estherville people have been generous in their donations," Quastad said.
Andy Umthun, head football coach and strength and conditioning coordinator, and former head strength and conditioning coordinator at Bishop Heelan, said he's worked with students as far down as sixth grade. He said the equipment will arrive in the next five to six weeks and hopefully be set up by Thanksgiving. "It will be pretty nice once it's all done," Umthun said.
Umthun opens up the weight room at 6 a.m. every morning of the school week and after football season he'll be there after school as well, giving student athletes 10 opportunities every day for workouts.
"There's been a lot of positive feedback," on the project, said Quastad.
Umthun said all sports - including cross country, girls basketball and volleyball as well as boys sports - will benefit from the new equipment. He said the weight room will also be open for students not in sports. "Pretty much any sport, any activity, I have a workout for them," Umthun said. "I'm trying to be more sport-specific." Umthun said even in football there will be different routines depending on a player's position.
Umthun said it's important to teach kids technique - something Quastad said Umthun is conveying to other coaches and the PE teacher as well.
"Getting more and more coaches on the page with me will help," Umthun said.
Umthun noted fewer ankle injuries this season - which he attributes to strength training and conditioning.