Top left: Back row: Ryan Talbot, Zach Simmons, Javin Helsel, Cordell McKeever and Heather Calandra. Middle row: Stefano Dalu, Garrett Storie and Levi Collins. Front row: Bailey Collins and Tim Galloway. The six-week boot camp is run by Mingus Union coach Mike DiQuattro VVN/Travis Guy
Track and field throwing coach Mike DiQuattro, who helped coach soon-to-be senior Heather Calandra to two state championships, put together a program with the help of certain community sponsors and Mingus Union coaches for ten of the Marauders' elite athletes.
DiQuattro designed a six-week program to help athletes in their sports. The program offers the participant's sport specific exercises to go along with other exercises, to help maximize their ability in their sport or sports that they play.
"I believe my program will motivate kids in high school to work harder in school," DiQuattro said. "We want these kids to be champions in the classroom in the weight room and on the field. That was my motivation for putting together this elite program for Student athletes from 8th grade to 12th grade."
With the help and sponsorship of Tim McKeever of the Rec-N-Cru and Craig Eagle and Snap Fitness, the student-athletes have a place to train and people to oversee and help them benefit the most from the program.
"They came to us looking for a place to workout and we were definitely open [to having them]," Eagle said. "I know that [during] summertime, a lot of the kids are trying to find a place to do stuff, hang out or just overall kill time, and I know this is a great group."
Once the six-weeks are done, DiQuattro will monitor the athletes year-round to see any improvements they might make and how they are coming along following the program.
Only 10 students were selected, but over 30 applied to be a part of the program. To choose who got to be a part of the program, DiQuattro and McKeever selected only Marauders that had over a 3.0 GPA and had college aspirations, ranging from eighth grade all the way to soon-to-be seniors.
"I thought it was a really good honor to be able to do this and get better, and to do the professional workout that we're doing right now," said football player and wrestler Cordell McKeever.
The two seniors on the squad, Heather and track and field sprinter Ryan Talbot, are arguably two of the most accomplished athletes at Mingus and this program will only help them grow as they enter their final year in high school. For the other participants, like junior Levi Collins, the boot camp offers him a way to improve on the football field and in the throwing pit.
"Get a lot stronger and faster, and see if it gets me over the top, compared to my other [workout routines]," Levis said. "[So far the program has gone] really well. I've had a lot more endurance now and gotten stronger."
Cordell may be a dual-sport athlete at Mingus Union, but in reality he is a three-sport athlete. Cordell plays on the offensive line for Mingus football and wrestles for the Marauders as well, and is part of his grandfather's Rec-N-Cru, participating in power lifting and going to competitions with that sport.
"I just want to be able to be stronger and faster so I have an advantage over the other guys," Cordell said. "Go 100 percent, 24/7. I think it's really good. I'm progressing more than I though it would."
For Eagle, part owner and general manager of three Snap Fitness clubs around the Verde Valley, he sees it as another way to help out the community and support students.
"They've been definitely taking care of, as far as everything staying in order and that they're being courteous. Their manners have been, they've been awesome since they started here," Eagle said. "We're here for the long haul and we want to be able to help out as much as we can to get a good name in the ton and be able to have generations come in here and work out."
Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013
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Coach Mike thank you for your dedication to the academic side of athletics. Mingus year in and year out ranks very high in our state with our team grade point averages.Thanks for taking your time to help our student athletic performers gain strength and speed. Coach Foist