Mesa State football team finds home in warehouse freezer

Not having a weight room isn’t conducive to building a championship program.

The Mesa State College athletic teams are making do with what they have and what’s been offered, Some work out in the student recreation center or at Gold’s Gym while Saunders Fieldhouse is being renovated.

The weight room upstairs has been dismantled, making room for the coaches’ offices.

The football team found a unique location to lift — a warehouse freezer.

The Mavericks are working out in the old City Market warehouse off First Street and Ute Avenue.

“I think a lot of players figure this is our style,” said former offensive lineman Trevor Wikre, who is getting a head start on coaching by helping the Mavs this spring.

“We had Gold’s Gym, but yet we’re going to work out in an old warehouse. It’s actually really nice, because it’s just ours. Everyone knows when they walk in the door it’s time to go to
work.”

The Mavericks are able to use the facility thanks to Maverick Club President Kevin Price and his business partner, Cary Eidsness, who own the old warehouse and donated its use.

“I received an e-mail from Rick (Adelman, the director of alumni relations for the college) telling me the football team would be displaced and was looking for warehouse space to work out,” Price said. “Through my connections with the Mav Club, I was happy to help out.”

The Mavericks work out in a 9,000-square foot area that used to be the freezer of the warehouse.

“It’s a great environment,” running back Kyle Britton said. “It’s kind of like Rocky with the old meat locker. The guys are really buying into it.”

Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said the football players who stayed in town over the Christmas break and the coaching staff moved three-quarters of the equipment from the weight room to the warehouse and set it up.

“We needed to have this so we can throw weight and do the things we do,” Ramunno said.

“Gold’s Gym was awesome, but with our numbers, it wouldn’t be good for them. This works out a lot better for us here.”

The Mavs started lifting two weeks ago when they returned for the spring semester and will continue to work out in the facility until the new weight room facility is completed later this semester.

“It’s a good thing,” linebacker Bennett Newton said. “There are no mirrors, no air conditioning and no heat. It’s our work time. This is exactly what we needed.”

The workouts are so loud, you can’t even hear a train passing by; you can only feel the vibration from it rumbling along the tracks.

“This is something that will bond this team,” Ramunno said. “It’s something we’re taking right out of Rocky III. We’ve got to get the eye of the tiger back.

“I’ve got a group of guys that really work.”

One day, the workout was so intense, condensation built up on the floor.

“It’s a little gross at times, but we get it done,” defensive lineman Alberto Rodriguez said.
“You get all these guys sweating, even the floor starts to sweat.”

Ramunno schedules three groups of roughly 25 players at a time, one group after another.

The players go through a weight program and finish with running.

“This is something they’ve bought into,” Ramunno said. “It’s great to have this opportunity. It was something we needed as a team.”


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