Training for excellence on Dollar Hill | SierraSun.com

Training for excellence on Dollar Hill

Alex Close
Sierra Sun

Alex Close/Sierra SunSophomore Matt Fenley, a football lineman, works out in North Tahoe High School's new fitness training facility.

As senior soccer player and track star Amy Terzian peddles a brand new spinning bike on North Tahoe High School’s west mezzanine, a handful of other student athletes lift, do agility work or rest between sets. Terzian looks out over the gym where the basketball team is running sprints.

As Terzian washes back over the new training facility, she says she wishes she had not just signed up for a membership at a local gym because now she doesn’t need it. She works out to prepare for the sports she competes in throughout the school year.

Now Terzian has the facility she needs right on campus.

After 33 years, North Tahoe has finally updated its fitness training facility.

Laker student athletes now have a training facility that is up to date, safe and even inspirational.

Sitting above the gym on the west mezzanine are a dozen shiny new resistance machines, a bank of power platforms, agility boxes, medicine balls, free weights, spinning bikes ” and there’s still room in the center of it all to lay down a speed and agility ladder.

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While the project is mostly complete and fully useable, North Tahoe Athletic Director Scott Everist says that it is not quite done.

The room adjacent to the mezzanine will be carpeted and soon house more cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical trainers, treadmills and maybe an additional spinning bike.

The walls will be painted, televisions will be installed and a computer system will be booted up to track and plot training programs for Laker student athletes.

The facility, which overlooks the gym along with all the state championship banners and Laker logos, is already a place North Tahoe’s young athletes are taking pride in.

“I love it. It’s awesome,” sophomore football player Matt Fenley says between sets of curls. “We really needed it.”

With major weight lifting sports like football traditionally taking precedent in high schools across the country, one of the major factors behind North Tahoe’s new training facility were the other sports, as well as the female Laker athletes.

According to Everist, not many female North Tahoe athletes ever used the old weight facility because the machines were old, run down and flat out didn’t look safe. In addition, there wasn’t much cardio equipment for athletes looking to stay in shape rather than build a lot of muscle mass.

This is exactly why the new facility contains so many resistance machines and cardio equipment ” equipment that is important for both anaerobic sports like football, as well as aerobic sports like cross country, track, soccer and skiing.

Dr. Paul Krause, medical director for sports performance at Truckee’s Center for Health and Sports Performance, says weight training is beneficial for all athletes, especially in high school. According to the doctor, that early season training not only conditions athletes for their sport, building endurance and strength, but also prevents injury.

“Most injuries in high school are joint related,” Krause says. “When you build muscle and prevent muscle fatigue you strengthen the muscle to relieve joints.”

Krause also maintains that weight training and fitness conditioning in high school leads to more healthy adult lives.

“Habits people form in high school usually impact their future,” Krause says.

Part of the nearly $30,000 bill for the facility will go into seminars and clinics to not only drum up motivation and pride but to teach athletes, and especially coaches, proper techniques, form and strategy for weight training, Everist says.

Bigger Faster Stronger, the company Everist purchased the equipment from, will give clinics on Dollar Hill later this year that will teach Laker coaches and athletes how to get the most out of the equipment they have.

Dr. Krause says that knowledge is vital.

“Form during weight training is almost more important than weight,” Krause says.

According to the doctor, not only can good posture and breathing prolong a workout, thus resulting in better efficiency and more gain, but many high school athletes tend to focus on load, rather than repetition.

“Trainers should control workouts,” Krause says. “Start low and go slow.”

With zero money available from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, and an already strapped-for-cash North Tahoe Athletic Program, finding funding for the nearly $30,000 training facility seemed like it would be difficult at first.

But with an existing facility that looked more like a prison yard than a high school, all Everist really had to do was ask, and the North Tahoe community answered.

While the check to pay for the facility was written by the North Tahoe Booster Club, the money came from multiple places.

The Tahoe City Rotary Foundation, or Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club, gave $10,500 toward the project.

An additional $3,000 came from the Tahoe City Rotary, and the Booster Club picked up the addition balance on the $27,500 bill.

While the Booster Club’s entire existence is to fund North Tahoe’s student athletes, a training facility to benefit every sport was the perfect thing to fund.

Jeff Oxanderboure, Booster Club board president, says a new training facility was an ideal thing to support Laker athletics as a whole.

“Any athletic program, weights and cardio is a major part of ,” Oxanderboure says. “It prepares them not only for success but for athletics without injury.”

Looking across the basketball court from North Tahoe’s new training facility, chain link fence and archaic steel machines still sit idle in the old facility. As the basketball team hustles through practice below, navy blue banners hang on each side of the gym listing decades of Laker state titles.

A handful of kids work the new equipment ” football players, track stars, girls soccer players. They are energetic, some of them laugh or giggle as they jump up progressively higher agility boxes or play catch with medicine balls. Others strain as they push for a new weight.

Scott Everist smiles between coaching his athletes.

“It should turn out to be a pretty good deal,” he says.