DuVal students now have a new place to go to beef up both their body and minds. DuVal High School opened a new weight training facility for students Monday morning. It is a project that has taken six months to complete, but ensures the students a fantastic new workout environment. “This is great for the […]
DuVal students now have a new place to go to beef up both their body and minds.
DuVal High School opened a new weight training facility for students Monday morning. It is a project that has taken six months to complete, but ensures the students a fantastic new workout environment.
“This is great for the school of DuVal and the Prince George’s County Public School system,” said the President of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce David Harrington before the ceremonial ribbon was cut. “I am overwhelmed with the individual efforts these great people have made to better our community and education system”
Mark Covington, the principal of DuVal, was very proud of the school’s newest addition as well.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for our kids,” Covington said. “We are so excited about the chance to show our love and give back to the students because they are great kids. This is very exciting for DuVal High School.”
The facility’s new state-of-the-art weight training equipment provides a great place for students and athletes to stay in shape through both body and mind, he said.
“This facility is a significant upgrade compared to what I had when I was in school,” Athletic Director Jason Mattern said of the new facility. “These students and athletes now have a nice place where they can stay strong in mind and in body.
“I also don’t want people to get the idea that this is only for our athletes. We are trying to encourage all students to use this equipment.”
Professional trainer Grant Roberts was also in attendance. Roberts helped fund the facility and has a lifelong passion for athletics. He is a personal trainer to many professional athletes and actors. His achievement of making the facility possible is something he is very proud of.
“The foundation of a strong mind is a strong body through exercise and academic achievement,” Roberts said. “When you think of an athlete they are someone who can run fast, is strong, and has great flexibility. But they also have to have good decision making, which is where academics come in. People tend to overlook that. This facility is going to promote all of these things and is going to be great for the students, as well as athletes.”
Dr. Henry A Wise Jr. High School will also be unveiling a new facility this fall. With the 2015 football season on the horizon, Wise will be playing on a new and improved field.
The project concluded last month. Both the football and soccer teams will share the field. DaLawn Parrish, the head coach of the football team, said the new field will help out the teams in many ways. One of which should result in fewer injuries for the players.
“The old field had potholes and bad grass around it,” Parrish said. “Now it is more even. It’s totally different for everybody.”
Wise is one of three Prince George’s County Public Schools slotted for installment of synthetic turf this upcoming season. Gwynn Park and Oxon Hill High School were the others. Fairmont Heights High School will be the fourth high school in the county to add synthetic turf later this year.
The schools were chosen as part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission initiative, according to PGCPS Office of Communications. The total project cost for the field was just over $1.53 million and included some significant associated work, including stadium lighting.
The field has received positive views from everyone who has had a chance to see and run around on it, Parrish said.
“Everybody that’s been over there to see it has loved it,” Parrish said. “The kids loved it.”
Parrish and his team won’t have a chance to participate in any contact drills on the turf until the state mandated date of August 12, but he did say his players have done conditioning drills.
Parrish said the new turf will be better able to handle the double-use of the soccer and football teams. He also said a lot of football teams in the county don’t have practice space or a grounds crew to keep fields maintained, which quickly deteriorates the playing surfaces. He is thankful his team doesn’t have to deal with that any more.
“It’s a safer environment,” Parrish said. “It doesn’t wear and tear. The longevity of the field is well kept in that nature.”
Sherrie Johnson, the public information officer for PGCPS, dove deeper into the advantages of the turf field.
“The biggest advantage is that the synthetic turf field can be used continuously, unlike grass fields, which needs rest to stay vigorous,” Johnson said. “There is no limit for synthetic turf. You can play on it over and over again. Other bonuses include the fact that it is safer to play on and just has a better overall appearance than an overused grass field.”
Wise opens up the season on its new turf Sept. 4 against Frederick Douglass High School.