By MIRANDA BAINES
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Athletes at Tarboro High School left behind a retro, outdated weight room last school year and returned to a weight room with a 2013 look this school year.
“It instills pride not only in the athletes, but it should instill pride in all the students who go here,” said Tarboro High School Principal Michael Turner.
The room emanates with school spirit, with power racks painted in the school’s colors, purple and gold, freshly painted walls with purple and gold stripes, and a Vikings head (the school’s mascot) displayed on a mat in the center of the room.
“If you step on this, you owe us 20 pushups,” says Andy Harding, offensive coordinator for the Tarboro football team.
From a practical standpoint, the new power racks in the weight room allow more athletes to use the space at one time.
Saiid Murphy, a senior and football player at Tarboro High, gestured to the multifaceted stations that can accommodate three or four athletes at one time, doing different activities.
“You can squat, you can bench, you can pull up on it, you can dip it…you can do just about anything you want,” he said.
“We can do multiple lifts at each rack so there’s not as much confusion,” Harding said.
Murphy, for one, prefers the new layout.
“We used to go from station to station, but now we stay in one station,” he said.
The old weight room had no power racks, but rather weight benches, with dumbbells sitting out in the floor.
“That equipment had been here since the ‘80’s…Some of the things were safety hazards,” Harding said. “We like to tell our kids that we’re a first-class program, but we didn’t have a first-class facility. We’re slowly but surely getting a nice facility that represents our program and school.”
While Phase One of the weight room remodeling project is complete, Phase II will be finished next year, Harding said. The next step is placing signs on the walls of the weight room, displaying Tarboro’s 2009. 2010 and 2011 state championships, for instance. The Tarboro Vikings were runners-up in the state championships in 2008 and 2012.
Barnhill Construction Company and Tarboro High School’s boosters club both provided funding for the weight room remodel, said Turner.
Harding said the revamp of the weight room “got the ball rolling” on other projects at Tarboro High, such as a new marquis (sign) being placed in the front of the building this school year and plans to remodel the basketball court next year.
Tarboro is the focus school of the month for Edgecombe County Public Schools, and a slideshow featuring the new weight room will be shown at Monday evening’s board of education meeting.