by Ben Murphy
Gobles football coach Greg Eichler has always seen the potential for a state-of-the art weight room at his school. Eichler, who recently accepted a job as principal in the district after several years as a social studies teacher, saw that vision come to fruition recently, when the school finished off an extensive renovation of their weight room.
“We have always had a nice space, our weight room has always had the potential to be great,” he said. “We had some older equipment up there that we have been using and we started to deem it as obsolete and a lot of it needed to be upgraded. We also needed to reorganize the equipment, we just weren’t able to put a lot of kids up there and run our work out programs in a way that was beneficial and safe for our kids.”
Fortunately for Eichler, the school was looking for a project just like the one he had in mind to help fund.
“We started talking in the spring of 2021, we were having a discussion about doing the renovation and the Gobles administration came to me and basically said there were some funds that they had available to utilize on equipment for the entire school and we ended up using some of that money,” he said. “We looked at our weight room and the way it was set up and we made a decision that we needed to upgrade a lot of the equipment up there and reorganize the room to have the most elite weight room that we possibly could.”
And Eichler clearly has done just that. On top of the shiny new equipment, the weight room, which sits above the high school gym, was also reshuffled to accommodate as many student weight lifters as possible; whether as part of a physical education class, part of training for an athletic team or
“It completely changed the game for us, I think we are seeing the impact immediately and we are also going to see the bigger impact as time goes on as we get more kids up there,” he said. “We notice we can get about 40 kids up there somewhat comfortably and are able to run through all of our weight lifting rotations and program in a pretty efficient way. In a 45 minute session we can get a lot of work done up there. We have had girls basketball players, football players and non-athletes up in that weight room working out together so now we can basically run a unified strength and speed program in our school that is organized very well. The coaches that are running the room, they are ablet o go up and down the room and see everyone lifting and are able to critique technique and give feedback and the kids are able to move around freely.”
According to Eichler, as word spread about their revamped weight room, schools across the state, and even out of the state have contacted them to see how they can improve their own facilities.
“The biggest thing is I have noticed a lot of small schools that are reaching out and it is giving them a little bit of hope that even as a small school, that they can have really nice things as well, just like at the bigger schools,” Eichler said. “We believe that our weight room rivals a lot of Division 1 and Division 2 schools. It has given a lot of schools the belief that they can invest in the health and wellness of their kids.”
The renovations are almost complete, aside from waiting for a few treadmills and stationary bikes. The work that Eichler and all those involved have done, has certainly gone noticed by the school.
“This is getting a lot of kids excited about it and I the last couple of weeks, I have had probably a dozen kids that don’t normally go up to the weight room ask me about how to get involved in weight lifting sessions after school,” Eichler said. “It is getting kids involved, getting kids excited and changing the game here in how we train our kids. When those (last few items) get here, we will truly have a weight room that can accommodate just about anybody. There is just so much that we can do with this and I am really excited about what this brings to our district and I think it sets us apart.”