Ever wonder why it is that schools like Cumberland Valley, State College and Central Dauphin seem to have their way with Chambersburg teams in what seems like way too many athletic contests?
For sure, any detailed examination of the situation would uncover a variety of reasons.
But one recurring theme seems to be that many of those teams appear have an advantage in strength over the Trojans. It's most apparent in football, but it's there in other sports, too.
Chambersburg has decided to fight back.
The Chambersburg Area School District and Summit Health have signed a contract, which was approved by the school board in late May, to have Results Therapy & Fitness provide strength and conditioning for the sports programs and athletes at the high school.
"This will give the student-athletes one consistent program for the whole year," said CASHS athletic director Jeremy Flores, who was instrumental in getting an agreement done. "They won't be jumping from coach to coach and sport to sport, and I think we'll see better results."
Previously, coaches for each sport set up their own programs, or athletes who wanted additional weight training had to do it on their own, and did so by going to a variety of training locations in the area.
Flores said, "The kids won't be getting pulled in 20 different directions now."
Doug Lentz, the director of fitness at Results, is glad to see the cooperative arrangement.
"I'm happy it's finally going forward," said Lentz, who has been a proponent of some kind of program like this for years. "I don't think most kids realize what it takes to get to the levels that CV and CD kids do. We've had (Chambersburg) football players come here over the years, but when our team has maybe 10 guys who have worked seriously on their strength, those teams might have 30 or 40.
"We want to raise the bar over time. It will be a work in progress and it will take time. I think it'll be even better if we can start this in the junior high programs, but you have to walk before you can run."
The heart of the agreement is that Results will provide 20 hours per week of strength and conditioning training to Trojan athletes at no cost to the school district.
That training will include athletes who are competing in their season, plus those in their off-season.
The plan is to have in-season athletes work out before school starts so it does not interfere with practice or games. Out-of-season athletes would have sessions after school. The sessions would last about 90 minutes each.
"In talking with Doug, we don't think we'll need more than 20 hours per week," Flores said.
Should the school decide it needs more than 20 hours a week, it can arrange with Results to provide them at agreed upon rates. If individuals want advanced training or have more specific needs, they can work with Results and pay a student rate.
Lentz said, "We can take this as far as people want to go, but it's a process. You can improve, but you can't get faster and more powerful unless you get stronger."
Lentz and Flores met with the coaches on Wednesday evening to explain the plan. In a lot of ways, it's a win-win situation for the coaches.
"I was really excited when I heard about it," boys basketball coach Shawn Shreffler said. "When I first started coaching, a lot of our players worked with Doug, and I have my own kids go to him now, too. He's an expert and he does a phenomenal job.
"It's important to do strength training during the season – not necessarily to get stronger but to maintain where you are. Basketball is a long season and a grind. I've seen guys lose 20 to 25 pounds in a season and that's not healthy."
Football coach Mark Saunders said, "From the time I've been here, I've worked closely with Doug anyway. If kids are going to lift, I'd rather they know how to do it the right way. Doug is one of the premier strength and conditioning guys in the country."
The program is not just for males, although Flores said the sessions may be split up by gender to make it easier to work on specific things.
"Our kids can train consistently and with the proper instruction," girls volleyball coach Ty Frelin said. "If you're trained properly on strength and conditioning going into a season, you can usually minimize the kind of nagging injuries you might get.
"Before, every coach had to find their own way to get this done. I believe we've needed something like this for years as a way to compete in our division."
The program may actually benefit the coaches in another way – they won't have to worry about setting up a training program themselves.
Flores said, "This gives coaches more time to do what they do best, because they won't have to plan workouts."
Lentz said, "My goal is to go in and see what the coaches are doing now, and then up the ante. By next year, it will be far different. I don't believe in programs just for a team, because every individual has different needs."
Flores sees two other benefits. Because the programs are free, kids from families who couldn't previously afford to get individual attention can now do so.
And, he believes it will help the athletic program as a whole.
"We want the athletic department, the athletes, the parents and the coaches to understand that we're all in this together," Flores said. "We're all Trojans, not football players or basketball players, and that if everybody buys in, it will bring more success for all of our teams."
Saunders said, "I think it'll be good to have everybody under the same rules, and that kids will have to be held accountable and will have to work at it. I'll be interested to see how they react to that.
"But it's better for teams to have everybody doing the same thing at the same time because it builds continuity, and it can put a positive pressure on each of them. You can work together and cheer each other on."
And hopefully create a few more victories to cheer about.
Results, CASHS make a team
The deal: The Chambersburg Area School District and Summit Health have signed an agreement for Results Therapy & Fitness to provide strength training services to CASHS athletes for the next 3 years.
Cost: Up to 20 hours per week will be provided by Results at no cost to the district.
Extra: If the district, or individual athletes, wish to receive additional training from Results, it will cost the normal rate.
Where: Most of the instruction will take place at the weight training facility in CASHS Field House.
Cooperation: The Results staff will work with district coaches, staff and trainers to provide the best programs for the athletes.
More: Additional instruction could be available in nutrition, injury prevention, speed and agility training, concussion prevention, education for coaches and team-specific training.