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The Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
When a state-of-the-art Strength & Conditioning Center opened at San Jacinto High School last spring, it was dedicated in honor of former longtime coach and Athletic Director Jeff Snyder. Since then, it has become a venue for athletes and physical education students to get a healthful workout thanks to the addition of full-time strength and conditioning teacher Jeremiah "Bud" Budnovich.
"My weight training classes are a mixture of athletes and regular students," said Budnovich, 38. "For athletes who may not otherwise have weight training for their particular sport, this class provides that opportunity. For regular students, this class is available their sophomore year to complete the physical education requirement."
Athletes from most of the sports on campus, but not all, take full advantage of the workout they can receive.
"I communicate with head coaches on any particular training wants and needs, in season and out of season training, and more," said Budnovich, who coaches football and track and field. Prior to coaching at San Jacinto High, he coached running backs and offensive line football players at Mt. San Jacinto College from 2010 to 2014, where he also helped run its strength and conditioning program.
Walter Guzman, girls varsity head coach, said as a team the girls had used the former weight room sparingly. With the new facility, there are 20 soccer team girls who use it during fourth-period Sports PE class, along with other athletes in that class.
"Coach Bud and I had a conversation as to what we were expecting for the soccer girls," Guzman said. "I wanted him to concentrate on soccer-specific exercises, such as strengthening drills for the legs and more specific for injury prevention of the knees along with some speed work and general fitness."
He said having a full-time teacher in the room has been a huge advantage to his soccer program because it allows him freedom to concentrate more on field work with the ball at the girls' feet and less on their fitness level.
"Coach Bud is an easygoing type of guy we as coaches feel comfortable talking to, and I know my girls feel the same way about him," Guzman said. "We're glad we have him, and I know it will pay off in the long run."
Budnovich charts and tracks everything done in the weight room. Students' maximums are recorded at the start of each six-week lifting cycle and retested at the end to assess gains.
"After the data is analyzed, I make adjustments to the lifting program to address any deficiencies in strength gain," he said.
Junior Payton McCartney is on the school's soccer and track teams.
"My speed has been the biggest improvement since I started using the center," said McCartney, 17.
Budnovich, who served as a Marine from 1998 to 2003, said his military experience helped him shape a different philosophy on physical training. He makes safety paramount in the weight room, putting students through an extensive training program covering safety rules and proper lifting techniques.
He said he loves the work, and the students are great.
"Student-athletes typically have a strong sense of intrinsic motivation," he said. "For others it is a matter of relating the importance of maintaining a strong mind and body to achieve homeostasis throughout one's life."
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