May 8, 2014
On Friday, May 2, 25 Union High School students were welcomed to the Iron Spartan Club.
UHS Health/ PE teachers and coaches Joshua Rackley, Doug Burley, and Jonathan Taylor wanted to create a program that would encourage students to excel in the classroom and in the weight room so they can be successful athletes on the playing fields and later in life. To determine eligibility, each student’s height and weight is recorded. Based on that information, they are divided into four weight classes. They are then assessed in their one rep max in 5 lifts (Bench Press, Squat, Dead-lift, Press, and Power Clean). If the student has had no disciplinary problems (NO ISS or OSS) the entire school year, they are eligible to join the Iron Spartan Club. Currently, only male students are eligible for the UHS Iron Spartan Club, but next year it will be open to females as well.
According to Health/ PE Teacher and Coach Joshua Rackley, “This program shows the hard work that we, as coaches and teachers, ask for day in and day out here at Union. These students are the cream of the crop, the best of the best.” In fact, Rackley points out that the group’s saying is “Only the Elite.” He adds, “The first group we are recognizing has done a great job helping us to get the program going. They have really stressed the importance of being accountable for themselves and their teammates in the classroom and the weight room. I am very excited.”
The teachers and coaches behind this program hope that the implementation of the Iron Spartan Club will promote student accountability. At the beginning of the school year, Principal Julie Hunter stressed to UHS students that she wanted this year to be all about the 3 A’s: Academics, Attendance, and Attitude. Clubs like the Iron Spartan Club go hand in hand with those 3 A’s and require students to perform at their best every day.