Raising the bar


New weight room in the east side of senior gym.


The Brazilian soccer legend Pelé grew up in poverty. As a child, he practiced his gameplay by kicking around old newspapers. After years of practice and achievements, Pelé is now considered the world’s greatest soccer player to live. However, Pelé did not become what he is today from only kicking around a newspaper. He used his talent to move up in the world. This meant better playing conditions and tools to aid in developing his talent.

In the past,White Station has experienced a serious lack of suitable athletic conditions and facilities. The weight room in the Senior Gym, used by several teams, was in dire need of renovation; fortunately, last summer the White Station Athletic Booster Club raised $24,000 for the renovation of the old weight room. David Twelvetrees, Vice President of the Athletic Booster Club, was key in making the project happen.

“The idea was originally brought to us by Coach Patino, the basketball coach. We were looking for projects to do and fund, and he was the one to propose [renovating the weight room],” Twelvetrees said.

The old weight room was a hassle and safety concern to the coaches.

“The equipment was very outdated.  Some of that equipment had probably been in there since the 1960s. While some of it still functioned, it was not in great shape and it presented some safety issues as well,” Twelvetrees added.

President John F. Kennedy was still in office when the old equipment was purchased and the fight for civil rights was alive and well. That’s about 55 years. Michael Jordan was born in 1963. By the time he started playing basketball, he was probably using newer equipment than most White Station athletes.  

After almost 55 years of wear and tear, White Station High School finally received a new and improved weight room during the first week of July. The new room is equipped with one squat machine, five half-rack machines, one tricep, one bicep machine, rubber flooring and a paint job. White Station athletes can now receive a better workout without coaches being concerned for their safety.

According to Twelvetrees, the Booster Club has received great responses from the groups  currently using it. However, one issue did arise.  The teams who donated to the initial fund have free access to the new weight rooms. However, groups who did not donate to the initial fund have to pay $25 per hour to use the facility.

“I don’t see how you can charge public school athletic teams money to use a weight room. I don’t see how that is fair or right,” baseball coach Wade Walter said.

The teams who did not donate are looking for  other ways to participate in funding to avoid fees in the future. For the mean time, however, this fee is here to stay.

Aside from all the logistics and speculation, renovation projects will soon become a necessity at White Station. As equipment and facilities wear out, they become a catastrophic danger for everyone involved . The Athletic Booster Club is working on launching more projects to further assist Spartan athletes.

“There was some discussion about building a new playing field behind the ROTC building. We are also looking at some locker room improvements,” Twelvetrees said.

Sporting facilities have been an integral part of a team or individual’s performance since the days of the Roman Colosseum. Sports team are a group of chefs and their main goal is to create a solid dish (game performance) for the customer, or in this case the fans. Without a proper kitchen to perfect the dish, their product will come out sloppy. Renovation and reconstruction at White Station has proved to be beneficial for the past. Sparta can only hope this trend continues.