ETHS adds “Varsity PE” to curriculum

Izzy Lobin, Staff Writer

Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, ETHS varsity athletes will have the opportunity to participate in a specialized PE curriculum distinctly designed around each sport.

The new program called Sports Specific Training (SST) was passed at the Dec. 17 School Board meeting. The class will give student-athletes year-round training, differing between in-season and offseason. The course focuses on student health and improvement in academics.

“Three things come to mind, and one [benefit] is clearly that [SST] will decrease injuries on and off the field,” Assistant Principal Pete Bavis said. “That, to me, is number one.”

The program would implement stretching and muscular conditioning to better prepare athletes for the physical trials of their sport, ideally reducing injuries. Some people think current PE classes are a big factor in athletes’ off-the-field injuries.

“I’ve heard too many stories about athletes getting hurt in gym class,”  junior Hockey player Zoe Durston said.

Cutting down on practice length to give more time after school for homework and rest is another key component of the class.

“Academic improvement is absolutely possible with this because we will be reducing the amount of training time for our athletes through this course,”  Bavis said.

Both benefits lead to what administration sees as a path towards better health for their athletes, physically and mentally.

Another benefit described by administration is a higher level of athletic achievement. Or simply put, more wins.

“Hopefully this all translates to better records on the field as a byproduct of the first two pieces,”  Bavis said.

A strength and conditioning specialist will run the class. Their job will consist of working with student-athletes throughout the year to improve sports specific athleticism during their season.

“They are going to get a year round strength and conditioning program managed by experts,” Athletic Director Chris Livatino said. “ [It] will make them stronger, faster, and fitter”

Student athletes seem to like the idea, with a majority considering the class beneficial to their class work and on the field performance.

“It will help players get stronger and faster, which is really helpful,” sophomore wrestler Tony Callion said.

Some say that a course like this should have been offered earlier.

“It’s a really good idea and it should’ve been an option long time ago,” Durston said. “Training during the school day would completely improve how we play.”

Whether or not the class maintains its good standing is still to be seen, but for now, administration, the PE and athletic departments have thrown their weight behind it.