WAYNE – On Monday, June 1st, Wayne High opened their weight room for its athletes. While some coaches gave their players a list of exercises to do during quarantine, this is still the first time the players have been in a weight room since March.
Athletic Director (AD) and Wrestling Coach Dave Wragge has just taken over the role as AD. This will also be his first year as Junior High Principal. He’s entering his fourth year as Weight Room Coordinator. Wragge spoke about the athletes starting up conditioning after time off and where they’ve gone from there.
“It was a slow start, but you know we’re week two now, and they’re back at it,” Wragge said. “They’re working towards their goals and they’re grinding hard.”
Wayne High athletes have been able to work agility drills and weight lifting exercises during their time back. Athletes know when their coach is going to be available to help them train. That way, the athletes can plan around their schedule to sign up for a time to work out with their coach. Wragge elaborates on their weight room capacity limit.
“The state has us set a 25-person limit. We’ve been trying to shoot for groups 15-20, just to let them have a good workout, but still not overcrowd the facility, and be able to maintain our social distancing regulations,” Wragge stated.
Wragge mentioned that despite the day-to-day uncertainty, he thinks they’ll stick with the format in place. He said that the 15-20 group size has been a good fit thus far.
Lauren Pick is set to begin her senior year with the volleyball team. She commented on how the first few days of lifting and conditioning have gone.
“You just come to weight room everyday and try to bring energy and work as a team, not being able to see people (during quarantine),” she said. “So, you come in and try to work hard, even though you’re sore and tired from the first week of weight lifting.”
Using work outs given out by the coaches and going on runs were some ways Pick stayed in-shape prior to summer training. Pick said that her team will continue to work in the weight room, in order to prepare for the season. She hopes this work will give the Blue Devils another shot at state in fall. The Wayne High volleyball team made it to state in 2019 as the number four seed, but lost to Broken Bow in the first round.
Emily Longe is going to be a senior on Wayne’s volleyball and basketball squads next school year. Longe spoke about what life was like before the weight room opened. Also, she added some goals for her team next season.
“Well before the weight room started, I’ve been working out on the farm with my dad,” Longe explained. “Keeping our winning record. We’ve been conference champs and we’ve made it to state every year, so we want to keep that going.”
The Wayne High School volleyball team hasn’t missed state since 2017. Longe said that her team has been working on a lot of agility drills so far.
There’s been a sanitation system set in place for the weight room. First off, there’s sanitation wipes and hand sanitizer around the room. There’s 15 minutes built-in for cleaning between sessions. Also, athletes can wash their hands before entering and after leaving the weight room. There’s a wash station right by the front door of the weight room. The weight room is open Monday through Thursday, that way it can be cleaned Thursday afternoon and remain untouched through the weekend. Dave Wragge hopes this can become a new normal, implying that frequent sanitation will help get the players back on the fields and courts next school year.