Cramped in the Weight Room? Coach Lapan Still Keeps Students Striving

Williston's Athletic Facility. Credit: Wikiwand.

Williston's Athletic Facility. Credit: Wikiwand.

The gym lobby got a wonderful upgrade over break, but many Williston athletes are wondering when the weight room is going to get its turn.

Many athletes The Willistonian spoke to say that there are not enough weights; others say that the room is too small. Whatever the problems, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Blayne Lapan, still pushes kids to do their best every day during Athletic Performance, even if it’s a little crowded.

Coach Lapan said the topic of weight room renovations has come up in the five-and-a-half years he’s been here, but, he said, he understands that conversation about schoolwide needs must focus on more than just athletics. What to fix, what to upgrade, and when, is a complex issue.

“Of course, from my standpoint as the school’s Strength and Conditioning coach, I would love to see a renovation to the space,” Lapan said. “Ultimately, I have very little to do with this decision, and I’m okay with that. It must be so hard to make these types of decisions. Deciding what’s best for the prosperity of the school takes much deliberation and is the final goal of the people who do make said decisions.”

Mark Conroy, Williston’s Athletic Director, understands this balance. He said he is “extremely proud of the quality of our current strength and conditioning program,” but “there is no question our current needs could be served better with a larger [weight room].”

This conversation, about improvements needed, Conroy said, happens in all departments across campus, not just athletics. Looking at it strictly from the perspective of those who work in that building, Conroy said the athletic department would undoubtedly benefit “from an expansion of this space one day.”

An improved weight room could increase athletic success for the school or even bring in new student athletes; some students believe that it could dictate a turn in athletic excellence at Williston. Lapan can envision the benefits a renovated room would offer.

“Ideally, we would have more space, which would allow us to have more racks and square footage,” Lapan said. “This would allow me to give more opportunities to kids who might not normally have the opportunity to train with me.”

Cam Mariani, a senior, has been at the school for two years and has played both years on the Varsity Hockey team. He believes a larger weight room would solve some problems in terms of space and student overflow.

“I don’t think it is big enough,” Cam explained. “In reality we all have to go out into the foyer to do various stretches, plyometrics, and other non-weight related activities.”

While the weight room may not expand soon, Coach Lapan is confident he and his team have used the space well, and will continue to do so.

“I feel that we have done a great job reducing kids’ injury rates as well as preparing them for college athletics with our current space,” Lapan said. “However, I would be happy to work in a larger, more up-to-date facility. And I think a bigger space would allow me to positively impact the lives of more students”

Those athletes, like junior Thomas Harty, agree that Coach Lapan has worked wonders in the weight room.

“Having a good Strength and Conditioning coach like Coach Lapan pushes you to be a safer and harder working athlete,” Thomas said. “Just based off numbers, I have definitely gotten stronger since coming here.”