KEWAUNEE (NBC 26) — Taking a job as a teacher at Kewaunee High School last year, Duane Skalecki eventually joined the football team as a coach. And right away, he knew there was something he could change.
"I noticed that there was a need for somebody to kind of be in the weight room," he said. "It was a very nice weight room, but it wasn’t being utilized real well."
Now, Skalecki is spending his first full season as a strength and conditioning mentor, teaching players four days a week.
"I’ve been told by the other coaches that there has been more kids from the team in here over the last year than there has been in previous years past," he said.
With 13 years of experience, his focus is mobility and flexibility. The team implemented yoga after practice to alleviate soreness.
"I just feel like the kids, they kind of took last year’s loss and realized we need to put in more work and a lot of them have," Skalecki said.
The strength and conditioning coach says efforts like these can help prevent injury, building bone density for the players.
"Obviously, when they go from five injuries down to two injuries, and it’s because you put the time in the offseason and kids are ready, it’s a no-brainer," Skalecki said.
Junior linebacker and tight end Demardo Echols says it’s been life-changing.
"A lot of confidence like definitely on the field, off the field," he said. "It definitely improved my game plan."
"As the players prepare for Week One, Skalecki says he knows the weight room will pay off.
"Are we in better shape than we were last year?" he asked. "I’d have to say 'yes.' The answer is yes."