By J.D. McKay
If you have been to a FC sporting event over the past year, it is clear that our athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger than ever before. That is because of strength and condition coach Donnie Gumble. His first year was last season, and after just his first year, the football team won sectionals for the first time in 10 years. We also won five other sectionals this fall, so that decision seems to be paying off.
Gumble came from Florida where weightlifting was a official high school sport.
“I started it because it was something I competed in in high school. In Florida, it is a varsity sport, so you have your teams,” said Gumble. “You develop team comradery and you develop a family within your team like you do in football, basketball, or any other team sport. That was what it was like in Florida at the last school I was at. The goal is to develop this club and hopefully the IHSAA will see it through as a varsity sport in the next 5 to 10 years.”
Making power lifting an official sport in Indiana would not make us outliers. Many other states are adding it as an official sport. According to Gumble, Minnesota and Arizona have it as well as many southern states.
“Last year at the high school state meet there were at least 10 schools,” said Gumble. “Some schools brought one lifter but other schools like Crown Point have a whole club team and brought between eight and 12 lifters with them.”
If you are worried that you are not the best athlete or star of a team, but want to compete against other Indiana schools, Gumble said that is not an issue either.
“You do not have to be the all-star athlete of a tradition sport to be good at weight lifting. A lot of times it is not the guy who is the all-star or the first stringer but they just have this natural knack for bar-bell movements, or they are just made for it,” said Gumble.
Senior Noah Lukinovich has not played a sport in high school, so he was a little worried about being behind, however, that has not been an issue.
“I was not sure I would be a top priority for coach Gumble, be he definitely gives me and everybody else the attention that they need. He also gives great instructions even for athletes at all different levels of experience,” he said.
Senior Gary Schultz has plenty of experience lifting and joined the team after football season because he just enjoyed lifting and working with Gumble. But his goals have changed a little since when he joined.
“I want to lose weight while my lifts go up,” he said. “It’s fun to do it for Coach Gumble, too, because he is always smiling and really enjoys what he does.”
Gumble said, “I am passionate about weight lifting. It has tremendous transfer and benefits to sports performance.”
When: After school most days or before school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Talk to Gumble for more time information.
Questions: Talk to Gumble in the weight room after school or email him at email@example.com