On a typical Monday morning in the summer, the West Ottawa North Building was quiet and nearly vacant at 7:45. In minutes, parents flooded the parking lots to drop off their kids. Students rode up on their bikes filling up the bike rack. Kids drove up in their cars and piled out by the dozen. By 8:00, approximately 220 kids and at least a dozen staff members had migrated into the North Building.
Within his first year at West Ottawa, Athletic Director Pat Marsman did something this past summer that had never been done before. He brought in private trainers from MVP Sports Club to help out West Ottawa athletes. “It was the first time that everybody had trained together and we brought somebody in during the summer to work with our athletes on their speed and quickness,” Athletic Director Marsman said.
From 8 o’clock to 9:45 for three days a week, 7 weeks out of the summer, an average of 220 kids participated in these workouts. A grand total of 8085 man hours were devoted by Panther athletes to improve their performance and abilities this summer. Having put in over eight thousand hours of time working out and enhancing our skills, it’s no surprise that our fall sports teams have been doing well. The football team is a solid 4-1 so far, the boy’s tennis team went undefeated in conference, and the girl’s swim team is one of the best in the state. “I’ve had numerous kids tell me that [the summer work] has benefitted them greatly so far in their fall athletics,” Marsman said.
“I got a lot stronger and faster because of the specific help from the MVP guys and their speed and strength training in the weight room,” West Ottawa football player Jackson Brown said. As the linebacker and tight end for the Panther football squad, these workouts were really effective in enhancing his skills on the field.
This could be the key to a universally successful program at West Ottawa. Such an enormous number of participants from a variety of sports is a huge advantage. Having strong and quick athletes in every sport is what these workouts have been producing. “The greatest thing that we’ve accomplished as an athletic program is our weight room,” Marsman said. With such considerable numbers as what we got this year, next summer they will probably be even greater. Marsman has made a significant stride in the athletic program by providing free, useful workouts from trained professionals throughout the summer for all students at West Ottawa.