‘Backbone’ of RHS athletics gets straightened up | PostIndependent.com

‘Backbone’ of RHS athletics gets straightened up

RIFLE ” The way Darrel Gorham sees it, Rifle High School’s weight room is building more than muscles. With help from the student body and the Rifle community, the ongoing refurbishment of the school’s facility is building pride and self-esteem.

Gorham, the high school’s weight-training teacher and head football coach, said the best way to spruce up and modernize the school’s weight room is to get both groups involved.

“The weight room gets a lot of use,” Gorham said. “There’s about 130 kids per day in there throughout the day between weight classes and athletes working out after school, so things were getting pretty torn up.”

Students took first steps in revamping the weight room in December.

The project started with the removal of equipment by Gorham’s students during Christmas break. Then, the students cleaned the air ducts and restored the bathroom and carpets.

“Cleaning the weight room gives the kids ownership,” said Gorham.

Additional help from the community came from Canyon Drywall, which resurfaced the weight room’s walls.

More aid came from Lauro Gomez of Quality Painting of Aspen. After the equipment was removed, Gomez, whose son, Josh wrestles and plays varsity football at RHS donated materials and time to repaint the facility.

“The new paint and the sprucing-up made the room look better and it made the kids work harder,” Gorham explained.

But, there is still plenty of work to do. The constant use and age of the existing weight machines and weights has left some equipment in various stages of disrepair, according to Gorham.

“Some of machines are broken and others have been in there for 10 years and, unfortunately, there is no money in the school budget for the weight room,” said Gorham. “With all of the use, the machines were just getting pounded. Bars and plates were breaking from constant use.

“The weight room is the backbone of our weight training and athletic programs,” noted Gorham. “I hope someone from the community sees this and helps us by buying something.”

Some of the needs, Gorham said, are new lap and leg machines along with weight plates, weight bars and free weights.

“Our goals were to get the weight room fixed and boost student achievement. It was good timing for us to start this project,” said Gorham. “And this is one of the quickest ways student achievement can be boosted, because the weight room is a backbone for our students.”

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