Immanuel Starts to Flex


Liam Carr

Junior Spencer Jennings performs a bent over row while Coach Clark looks on.

Liam Carr, Editor-In-Chief

Before the sun rises, many of student athletes at Immanuel are taking one step further to become better athletes by working out and building their strength. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday students arrive at the gym at 6:30 A.M. The workouts are split up into different different days. Tuesday focuses primarily on working out the arms and upper body. The emphasis on Wednesday is on making the back and bicep muscles stronger, and Thursday is geared towards working out the leg and lower body muscles. The workouts are lead by the  Kindergarten teacher Mr. Emsy Clark. He is an amateur power lifter who has competed in numerous events and has won six straight competitions, he was named the strongest man in Oklahoma in 2011.

Head football Coach Billy Daves has been a strong supporter of the workout program. He believes that working plays a vital role in sports and can change Immanuel Lutheran Christian Academy athletic performances.

“We have a very unique opportunity for many of the athletes at Immanuel. We have highly a qualified weightlifting coach that knows what he is doing and he can help every athlete improve their game in every sport including golf. So I hope to see everyone their sometime this year,” Coach Daves said.

The early morning workouts have brought in a multitude of students ranging from sixth to twelfth grade. Also, many students from the co-oping schools, Mingo Valley Christian and Town and Country, participate in the workouts as well. Trenton Cox, a senior from Mingo Valley Christian, participates at the gym on a regular basis.                              

“Working out has helped me so much. I feel like I can break more tackles, run faster, and kick farther now,” Cox said.

Cox plans on attending Oklahoma State University and hopes to be a “walk on” as the kicker for the football team. A majority of the students attending the morning sessions are in middle school. Alex Bellerud an eighth grader from Town and Country, has become a “go to” receiver on the field for the middle school football team. This is his first year playing football and he thinks he would not be where he is at now, if he did not work out during the summer.

“It just kind of gives you a mental state of mind that I can do this. I can do anything, because of how strong I feel,” Bellerud said.

Many athletes are seeing a correlation between their accelerated performances and spending time in the gym. Seventh grade cross country runners, Jacob Clark and Gabe Newbrough, have received the special opportunity to run in the National Lutheran Cross Country Meet in Mequon, Wisconsin on October 20. They will run against 506 other opponents. Clark spent a lot of time in the gym over the summer.

“I believe there is, in fact, a strong connection between me working out during the summer and me now going to the national cross country meet in Wisconsin,” Jacob Clark said.

Many people enjoy going to the gym, yet there are a few downsides to working out so early.

“I enjoy showering before school and I do not usually have enough sleep on the days I go to the gym, sophomore Ellis Stevens said.

As of the start of the second semester Immanuel is now offering a weightlifting class.

Liam Carr
Eighth Grader, Hayden Parker, works out his biceps with the axel bar