Marion Local High School in Ohio has always made headlines in the world of high school athletics. With just over 250 students, Marion Local has seen tremendous success on the field, court, and track over the years. This past year alone, the school hoisted multiple state championship trophies and had many other accomplishments across the athletic department. For Marion Local, athletic success starts before school.
Before School Turnout
Every morning before school starts, Marion Local opens up the doors to the weight room. And while most schools would expect to see only a handful of dreary-eyed students come workout, Marion Local has upwards of 70 students showing up at a time.
Jacob Sherrick, a teacher and coach at the school, says that the early morning turnout is a testament to the student-athletes at Marion Local,
“We have an incredibly dedicated group of student-athletes. From 9th to 12th graders, students show up consistently before school to workout.”
And while most student-athletes get to the weight room before school, the participation continues beyond the morning. Jacob says the numbers are astounding,
“We now have over 225 students participating in strength and conditioning. As a school of just over 250 students, that is a huge percentage taking advantage of the weight room.”
Supporting The Massive Turnout
To support the massive turnout at Marion Local, the athletic department has made multiple investments in the strength and conditioning program.
First, the school has overhauled the weight room and significantly improved the space. Second, the coaches at the school have worked together to ensure they take a unified approach to strength and conditioning. To help support this unified approach, Jacob explains the role technology has played,
“We started using PLT4M two years ago, which gives us a great foundation and baseline for programming. But the biggest advantage is we can tweak and modify to work with our specific groups and teams throughout the year. It is a perfect fit for high school strength and conditioning.”
And because many of the coaches at Marion Local wear multiple hats, Jacob says the integration of technology has allowed for an additional layer of support for students,
“We can’t always be there. And even when we are, there are so many students all working out at once. With PLT4M, every exercise has an instructional video that has been huge for our athletes’ overall development. This alone has been a huge driving force for more athletes participating in the program.”
Laying The Foundation For Success
In addition to consistency around turnout and programming, Jacob says that utilizing PLT4M has made a huge difference in form and technique,
“You can see it in the weight room every day. Athletes are watching the videos, getting feedback, and moving incredibly well. The improved form and technique has been extraordinary to see.”
Beyond just form and technique improvement, Marion Local has seen a noticeable difference in their athletes participating in strength and conditioning. Jacob explains the transformation unfolding,
“We don’t always have the biggest or tallest athletes. But you can see the transformation on the field, court, or track when our athletes go out to compete. The fitness levels translating to competition is incredible.”
At Marion Local, Jacob says they consider the weight room the foundation for success,
“We tell the kids it’s like brick building. Our athletic success starts before school every day when we lay the bricks in the weight room. If you aren’t taking care of business in the weight room, you aren’t going to see success on the field.”
Success On The Field, Court, and Track
Marion Local has undoubtedly laid the bricks to success. Just this past year, the school celebrated success across the entire athletic department.
The girls’ volleyball and basketball teams both saw district and regional success. In addition, the boys’ basketball and baseball teams also made deep playoff runs that had the school celebrating.
And Marion Local even had two teams achieve the ultimate victory. Both the boys’ football team and track team won state championships. For the football team, the state championship was the 13th in the last 25 years.
Jacob says that all of the accomplishments are a testament to the hard work student-athletes are putting in,
“There is a sense of pride here at Marion Local. It all comes down to our dedicated athletes. And because we have so many multi-sport athletes, we all succeed when our athletes work hard. The relation between our weight room and athletic success is obvious.”
Key Takeaways On Marion Local High School
At Marion Local, athletic success starts before school. But the true success isn’t that students workout before school. Instead, it is that the athletes are consistently working out throughout the school year.
While a bulk of training happens throughout the school year, Marion Local also boasts a popular summer program. Jacob says that this continuation reinforces the importance of strength and conditioning for athletes,
“I can’t say enough how dedicated our athletes are. As coaches, we love to see that energy and enthusiasm and want to do everything we can to support that. The weight room is one of the best places to make that impact and investment.”
As Marion Local sets their sights on continued success, you can be sure that the strength and conditioning program will continue to be a staple of the school’s athletic mission.