The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of Jackson-Reed High School

The Beacon

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Teams must combat limited space to use weight room

While there have been improvements to Jackson-Reed’s weightroom, including new equipment added in the summer, there is still the same old scheduling problem that’s always been there. This is due to one main factor: its size. JR’s sports teams have had to adjust their schedules due to the limited space and access to the school’s weight room. The small space means that teams usually cannot share the space, leading to schedules often having to revolve around weight room times.

This fact can also create a bit of a difficulty in terms of actually scheduling teams for their respective times. “We have 40 teams here. Over 25 of them request to use the weight room.” Assistant Athletic Director Daniel Larios-Joya, who oversees weight room scheduling, explained.

When that many teams are demanding such a small space, it creates a challenge for both the teams themselves and the athletic department. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis, with priority for in-season teams. Despite the prioritization for those in-season teams, getting times can be difficult and teams must schedule practices around those available times.

“When you have a school like Jackson-Reed where you have a large number of sports and not a lot of facility, you’ve got to be flexible, you’ve got to be able to maneuver,” said Minoso Rodgers, head coach of JR’s varsity football team. This fact provides both a motivation for the teams, but also obvious challenges for athletes and their ability to complete workouts in time.

The track team, for example, has routinely struggled to finish workouts in time before the next tenants use the weight room during the afternoons in which they reserved it. There are even cases of teams having to share the incredibly cramped space. “We can get it done with two teams in the weight room,” explained Rodgers. “It’s about preparation and how well you plan your workouts so when you’ve got limited space, you’ve got to be creative in making a plan.”

This needed creativity and flexibility is sometimes too much for teams to bother with. Larios-Joya explained that whatever times are left over for teams without reserved times yet, sometimes turn teams away. “Since those [times] may not fall under the same times they are requesting, they may not want the weight room after that.” The hassle of having to reorganize practices is understandably too daunting for some teams.

Expansion of the weight room, which could ease congestion that comes when sharing it, might not be an option. The ventilation in the hallway below the weight room makes it almost impossible to expand downwards. “When you go in there you can smell the pool water,” said Larios-Joya. “What that ventilation does is that everything, a chrome or any type of metal, rusts.” New equipment that would come with expansion would be unusable within months, deeming the expansion useless. That fact, that the weight room is pretty limited in any expansions it can undertake is an unfortunate truth that the school has had to combat.

One bonus the weight room got recently was the new equipment that was installed over the summer. “We were lucky to get all this new equipment, as a non-profit [One City] came in here and donated some money and got us new equipment,” said Larios-Joya. While the new equipment, replacing some of the older, rustier weights, bars, and the like, was an added plus, there are still countless problems in the weight room that have to be fixed.

The lighting, sound system, and mirrors are all begging for updates. Those will have to wait until future summers. “We ran out of budget from the non-profit who gave us the money, but [those are] on our list of improving the space,” Larios-Joya explained.

JR’s facilities, including the weight room, despite lacking the amenities such as hot/cold tubs and large, multi-team capacity gyms that are found in some private schools in the area, can help teams navigate through adversity. “We don’t have the most space, we don’t have the best equipment, but functionality, right? You figure out a way to make it work. If you’re a person who understands how to make the body move, you can find a way to make the equipment work, and we’ve done a good job with doing that,” Rodgers concluded.

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