Mountain View sets up outdoor workout stations for football players


Working out with just a few teammates is better than working out alone, at home

For a January morning, it wasn’t too cold Tuesday at Mountain View High School as football players arrived, before sunrise, for an outdoor workout session with weights.

Nathan Woolley was the first in line to sign in, and he showed up in shorts.

“I’m from North Dakota so I’d be hard-pressed to find anything here cold,” Woolley said.

Mountain View football player Trevor Finnern and some of his teammates arrived before sunrise Tuesday to get in an outdoor workout in hopes of a football season in the next few months. Photo by Mike Schultz
Mountain View football player Trevor Finnern and some of his teammates arrived before sunrise Tuesday to get in an outdoor workout in hopes of a football season in the next few months. Photo by Mike Schultz

Soon after, the other players scheduled for the 7 a.m. workout arrived. Mountain View football coach Adam Mathieson pointed a scanner at each player’s forehead, recorded body temperatures, and asked COVID-related questions before they could proceed.

“It’s definitely not where I expected my senior year to be,” Wooley said, noting a football workout in January with the hopes of a shortened season in the coming months. “Whatever it takes to try to get a season done. I’m looking forward to this year. I think we’re going to have a strong team.”

Four work stations were set up along a walkway, under an overhang, outside of the north side of the high school.

Athletes could bench press, but the rule was no maxing out. Just reps with light weights so there would be no need for a spotter. Three athletes were allowed at each station, but they were reminded to stay at least 6-feet from one another, and to clean equipment prior to the next athlete. They were told to keep their masks on at all times, as well.

In theory, 12 athletes could be there at the same time, but Mathieson said he is trying to keep it at around eight or nine athletes per session. Times were set up for 45-minute workouts beginning at 7, 8, and 9 a.m. before school, then 3, 4 and 5 p.m. after school. On the next day, another group of athletes gets to use the program’s equipment. In two days, more than 90 athletes could take advantage of the availability.

“I’m excited. I’ve been trying to get as much work as I can with my 25-pound dumbbells at home,” Woolley said.  “Having the team to work with again … is really going to help.”

Nathan Woolley of Mountain View got his workout done in a walkway outside of the high school Tuesday morning. Photo by Mike Schultz
Nathan Woolley of Mountain View got his workout done in a walkway outside of the high school Tuesday morning. Photo by Mike Schultz

That is more of a driving force than just getting prepared for a season.

“It’s a chance to re-engage a little bit,” Mathieson said, noting that teens are a vulnerable population and that they need to be around each other as well as positive role models.

“Protocols say we can be outside, in small groups, with masks on, and we haven’t been in the weight room since before Thanksgiving, so we said, ‘Let’s try it,’” Mathieson said.

Parents and coaches showed up Monday night to set up the work stations outside. The band is giving the football team some space to store the weights inside, overnight, right near the walkway. 

“It’s definitely a blessing,” said senior Kevin Chen. “I’m grateful we have the opportunity today to work out and to meet up with our teammates and coaches again. It’s just been forever, and it means a lot.”

Working out is all part of becoming a better athlete, even if football players aren’t used to preparing for a late winter, early spring season.

“It’s part of the grind. Gotta love it,” said sophomore Kyle Chen.

Work stations have been set up outside of the school, in walkways, allowing for Mountain View football players the opportunity to work out with some of their teammates. Photo by Mike Schultz
Work stations have been set up outside of the school, in walkways, allowing for Mountain View football players the opportunity to work out with some of their teammates. Photo by Mike Schultz

He added that it has been frustrating to see high school football being played throughout much of the country but not in Washington. He remains hopeful there will be some sort of football season, though.

“God has a plan for all of us. Gotta trust the process, the plan,” Kyle Chen said.

Right now, that process calls for early morning workout sessions, outside, in January.

“You just want to give hope for the kids,” Mathieson said. “We’re in the business for kids. We’re going to stay positive for them.” 

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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