Beastly Bobcats celebrate gains
BLHS student-athletes close out summer with Beast Feast
The picture tells the story.
High school boys and girls wear grey shirts. Some squat against benches. Others lean against weight racks.
Some are there because the summer is about preparing for fall sports. Others are there because they want to be more physically fit.
The picture tells the story because this group of 96 students could have been assembled at any time last summer.
The students all had perfect attendance at summer weights, attending 30 of 30 workouts as part of Basehor-Linwood High School’s summer strength program.
“A big part of the (strength and conditioning) program is in the summer, and it is neat because a handful of that group do not play any sports and they’re there every day doing the workouts,” coach Ross Schwisow said.
BLHS students spent time in the weight room this summer with 302 attending workouts.
Of that number, 155 attended 27 of 30 workouts. The school also had 96 students attend all 30. Those are the athletes who are pictured and will be on a poster that is available at area merchants.
The numbers blew away previous participation totals.
Students who attended at least 90 percent of the workouts were invited to attend Beast Feast, which is a barbecue and watermelon feed for the athletes. Community National Bank provided watermelon for the students. The booster club helped pay for barbecue.
Test results also were shared with the audience and a highlight video of the summer activities was shown at the feast on July 30.
In addition to the students in attendance, Schwisow, other coaches and alumni made the program successful.
BLHS graduates served as interns and supervised workouts. They allowed Schwisow to move rapidly between different groups, helping students needing assistance while also offering plenty of encouragement.
Other Bobcat coaches helped out throughout the summer supervising workouts. The weights program was part of a summer where coaches were able to work with their athletes more frequently, and most coaches scheduled workouts after weights.
While participation was up this summer, Schwisow is now looking for his weight lifters to increase their intensity in future sessions. As he puts it, “Now that we have participation up, it is not just getting there. Now don’t just be there; continue it.”
The summer program is part of a commitment the school has made to strength and conditioning. Athletes can workout anytime after school throughout the year. They can also take weight training classes from Schwisow, who said the goal of his program is to help prepare athletes for sports and get non-athletes into better shape. The former strength coach at the University of Missouri said he loves working with high school athletes.
“I look forward to what I get a chance to do here. It is more teaching, working with more kids, not just to perform better, but it’s teaching them to exercise and take care of their bodies,” he said.
For students not playing a fall sport, Schwisow will open up the weight room after school for training.
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