New weight room will benefit students

Published 9:11 pm Friday, June 4, 2010

WINDSOR – Students and athletic programs will benefit from a new weight training facility at Bertie High School.

The coaches and physical education teachers at Bertie say the new facility, which will be located in the 600 Building on the campus of the high school, will be beneficial for all students, especially athletes.

“Having an updated weight room will allow more kids to participate,” said Physical Education Teacher Jackie Copeland. “With the problem the country has with overweight and obesity in young people, the new weight room should help students in Bertie County.”

Marvin Rankins, who also served Bertie County as a PE teacher, agreed.

“I’m excited about it,” Rankins said. “I think it will add a lot to the physical education department. The kids will be excited because they’ll have something to be proud of.

“With all the talk of childhood obesity and other health problems from not participating in sports, I hope this will help spur our students to participate on a great level,” he added.

Rankins, who also serves as Athletic Director, said the new facility would also aid the overall athletic program.

“I think it will make us a better program all the way around,” he said. “We’ll be on part with any other program as far as what our students have the chance to work with.”

Rankins said the weight room would also help the boy’s track team he coaches.

“You can’t give anything for strength, speed and flexibility,” he stressed. “This will give all of our athletes those traits. I can only imagine what it will do for track.”

Copeland, who coaches softball and girl’s tennis, said both of her programs would be improved by the new facility.

“The updated equipment will make us more hands-on and allow my teams to not wait to use the equipment,” she said. “It will make us stronger and help us be more ready when we get out on the field.

“I think it’s also good because it will help our kids see that we’re now on par with other schools,” she added.

Bertie High School Head Football Coach Greg Watford said the new weight room helped him in his decision to take the Falcons offer to lead the football program.

“It was a very big deal for me,” he said. “I knew the commitment to being a championship program was still in place and maybe even growing.

“Everyone knows championship teams have great fitness programs and facilities,” he added. “This shows the championship status Bertie High School has.”

Watford, who accepted the position in May, said he felt the football program would benefit, but also liked what the new facility said about Bertie High School athletics.

“For the football program, it will help us become even more athletic and also help reduce injuries because we’re in better physical shape,” he said. “Also, I don’t think you can measure the source of pride it will be for the student-athletes. It adds to the state championship legacy, the successful basketball programs and all of the other successes here. It shows we do things the right way, the championship way, the Falcon way.”

Bertie High School Baseball Coach Randy Whitaker, who helped lead the updating of the facility, said he thought every program would be better.

“I think this new facility can be beneficial to all of our coaches and all of our teams,” Whitaker said. “We already had a grant to update fitness equipment and now we are updating the weights and all of our programs will be better for it.”

Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Zullinger said he thought the new weight room would be a symbol to opponents as well as to student-athletes at Bertie.

“We want to make sure our students have the best equipment, because they deserve it,” he said. “This new weight room will be top of the line.

“When our opponents see what we have here, they’ll know the treatment they’ll get on the field because of it,” he closed.