New facilities, new programs and new faces await athletes at Community Christian as the new school year arrives.  C.C. athletes already received a glimpse of what is to come by participating in a voluntary summer conditioning program called “Lion Pride.”  

Since the first week of June, C.C. athletes have been packing into the newly built weight room at Community Christian’s 16th Street Gym. “These kids have exceeded all of my expectations for the summer.  Every time we open the doors, more athletes are showing up.  I am very proud of what they have accomplished this summer,” said new power lifting coach Rich Hyman.   

The Lion Pride summer program consists of daily weight lifting, conditioning, and core training.  Each athlete has received sport-specific weight training throughout the summer.  “It’s really amazing what these kids have done all summer.  They show up and lift weights for an hour to an hour and a half and then they do another half hour of conditioning that I don’t even want to attempt,” said Hyman.  “They are already starting to see results and it’s exciting.”

At the end of each weight lifting session, all of the athletes join together for group conditioning and core training.  “I train all of the guys and girls using a program called T.U.F., which I learned while training at Triton Fight Centers in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” explained new boy’s varsity basketball coach, Matthew Block.  “T.U.F. is a variation of the high intensity conditioning program called CrossFit.  T.U.F. was designed to condition and develop elite athletes, like mixed martial artists.  It can transform Community’s athletes and allow them to achieve a level of success that they never thought was possible,” said Block.

However, the program got the name T.U.F. for a reason.  “The conditioning is awesome because it works all of your muscles constantly and forces you to give everything you got,” explained sophomore Zack Anderson.  Eighth grader, Alex Parrish summed the conditioning up by stating, “It hurts, but that’s good right.”

This summer of working out has raised the level of excitement and expectations surrounding the upcoming year.  Freshman Lauren Jackson said, “I’m really excited about the start of volleyball season now.  After working out all summer, my spikes have been amazing, and I can’t wait to see how much the team has improved since more than half of the team has been conditioning this summer.” 

Sophomore Daniel Battise also shared his expectations.  “Our basketball team hasn’t been in good shape in years past, but we are definitely getting conditioned now.  We will be ready for the season.”  The summer program has other benefits also.  “We have gotten closer as a team. Getting to lift weights and going through brutal conditioning together has made the summer more fun.”   

These new changes at Community Christian will not end with summer vacation either.  Because of the high student turnout and growing interest in the Lion Pride conditioning program, the newly built weight room is in the process of being expanded with new equipment added.

Furthermore, an Athletics course has been added for those athletes wanting to continue their conditioning and sport-specific training during the school year.  “I am extremely excited about training with these guys on a daily basis.  I haven’t heard of anything like the T.U.F. conditioning program being offered to athletes in this area, and I know it’s something Community has never had,” said Block.  “If they commit and push themselves, they will start turning some heads.”