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NUHS weight room receives new weights

NEW ULM — Through fundraising, volunteer help, donations and hard work, the New Ulm High School weight room now has a brand new set of weights that may rival some small colleges.

Just after Christmas, a brand new set of weights were brought in to the tune of $80,000 — all money raised through fundraisers with no taxpayer monies involved.

And it all started with an older set of out-dated set of weights and a desire to give the student-athletes at New Ulm High School the best possible opportunity to succeed.

“When we built this new building, we had a new space [for the weight room] but we re-used all of the equipment from the other building,” New Ulm High School Activities Director Troy Guentzel said. “That older equipment was bought years ago before I got here when an old fitness facility in New Um closed. And one of the things when I was hired that I set out to do and made a goal after talking with all of our coaches was that we wanted a strength coach. After pushing for it, the district saw the need and value in it and the district hired a strength coach [who is also a Physical Education teacher in the district].”

With an opening for a Physical Education teacher, the District hired Derek Lieser to fill that spot and also be the strength coach for New Ulm High School.

Guentzel said that he and Lieser both had a vision about upgrading the old weights, especially with a new strength coach position filled.

“So we decided why wait,” Guentzel said. “We had one good crack at it to make a good impression on the kids — we had him and Eric Kauffmann [also head football coach] new as well as Anita Longtin — we got the Phy Ed staff on board with a new vision. We said to look for new equipment and Derek did a good job of getting quotes for equipment, looking at what we wanted and sitting down with all of the coaches and what they wanted to see in the weight room.

Guentzel said that all of the funding for the equipment came from two sources.

“First was our booster club and second from monies raised from concession sales,” he said. “It was a joint venture and no tax money was used.”

He said that the district was also fortunate that Gag Sheet Metal donated a truck and driver to pick up the new equipment from Dynamic Fitness from Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

“They [Dynamic] also installed it free,” Guentzel said. “We feel great around everything. It was a long process, it took about five months, but in the grand scheme of things it was worth it.”

Lieser said that the new weights are not only beneficial for the athletes but also the physical education classes.

“A lot of our students are excited not only for the equipment but also for the fact that we believe in our kids and that we wanted to give them the best equipment available for them to reach their potential,” Lieser said. “This sends a message to our kids that we are taking this seriously.”

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