The Winning Room

The Winning Room

January 07, 2019

WRSC Certified Coaches and a Total Program set Bangor Apart

There are many athletic programs that say they use BFS, but the truth is many of them only use parts of it. For example, they may just use the weight training program and neglect the speed, agility, and flexibility training. Bangor High School wanted to promote the idea that they were a total program, and for this reason, decided not to call their strength and conditioning facility a weight room, but a “Winning Room!”

Bangor High School is located in Bangor, Michigan, and has approximately 365 students. The school district has one elementary school (grades K-4), one middle school (grades 5-8), and one high school (grades 9-12). Their motto is “Bangor Public Schools…Targeting Success!” This is where BFS comes in.

Dennis Paquitt is the school superintendent and  Mary Spade is the assistant principal and athletic director at Bangor. When Spade took over she found that both the athletic fitness and physical fitness programs at the school were “chaotic,” such that the kids did not have a well-designed workout that would help them achieve their goals. Says Spade, “We had had BFS at Bangor before I came here, but we kind of got away from it, so I decided to bring BFS back.” That decision started with a two-day WRSC certification and Total Program Clinic.

In 2015 Spade contacted BFS to have veteran BFS clinician Kam Shepherd come in to help unify the physical education and athletic departments. The visit included having several coaches complete the BFS Certification, and when they brought Shepherd back in 2016 the total number of certified coaches reached 10. Spade says that the BFS certification is important when you hire coaches and physical education instructors “because you can’t assume they know what they are doing in the weight room.”

Spade says that the BFS certification is important when you hire coaches and physical education instructors “because you can’t assume they know what they are doing in the weight room.”

Spade says that one-third of her students are involved in school sports, and that she encourages all of them to play multiple sports. “We encourage kids to play multiple sports not only because it strengthens the entire athletic program, but also makes kids better at the sports they like the most.” She says that playing multiple sports also prevents burnout, which she has seen with kids who just focus on one sport. The challenge, she says, is that many students have jobs, family obligations, “and want to spend much of their free time using technology rather than getting physical.” Adding to the problem is that students are only required to take physical education classes for one-half of a year in high school.

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During his first visit, Shepherd did a safety evaluation and overall assessment of the Bangor strength and conditioning facility, which she said “had random pieces of equipment and plates everywhere.” Shepherd helped redesign the facility, making the focus Do-It-All stations that enabled all the core lifts to be performed in one place. 

“Kam’s suggestions helped our kids become more goal-oriented. They walk into our winning room and they know what they need to do where and they need to go.” She says the program is more efficient, and as such can accommodate more students.  “The changes Kam suggested made a big difference, and the room looks more like a health club -- I like to show it off!”

Bangor is a small school in a small city where everyone knows each other, and this makes for a supportive environment. One graduate wrote the following about this school. “While I was in school I always felt safe and had always felt like I fit in with everybody there. The administration was very communicative with the students and was very understanding of each situation. Having gone to Bangor schools and growing up there, I learned many positive life lessons and school especially helped me learn self-dependence. Whenever I decide to have children I would be more than proud to send them to Bangor schools.” 

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