New Delta Charter coach places emphasis on weight room

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 19, 2017

Delta Charter School’s football coach Blake Wheeler believes in the weight room, considering it the foundation for an all-inclusive team.

Alongside assistant coaches Jarrett Hoffpauir and Mason Ozburn, Wheeler led a group of football players through an instructional weight room session Thursday afternoon, a place he said his team will call home for the summer.

“I’ve seen teams without it, and I’ve seen teams with it. If you’re going to be a competitive team on any level, you’ve got to get kids in the weight room. You find leaders in there, and it builds character. It builds so much,” Wheeler said. “There’s so many things that you learn about yourself, and it’s a way for them to compete before getting on to the football field.”

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Wheeler, hired for the head coaching position earlier this month, is attempting to expand the program after the Storm’s 4-9 campaign last season. He said his team is scheduled to begin its regular workout sessions on May 29 and plans to be in the weight room four days a week.

“Xs and Os are all fine and great, but it’s about what a kid can dig out from their heart,” Wheeler said. “If I can trust a kid to be here throughout the summer, then I can trust him on Friday nights.”

And, the trust goes both ways.

Being new to Delta Charter, Wheeler said he is aware that it might take some time for everything to fall into place.

Wheeler comes from Rayville High School following a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator for the Hornets.

“I’m the kind of guy that is going to be right there with them and push them,” he said. “I just have to be myself and be there for people when they need me. It’s important to be truthful and honest and let them know my expectations from the start.”

Rising-junior Trey Poole was the go-to demonstrator during Thursday’s informational meeting and said he thinks the Storm is eager to grow under Wheeler’s direction.

“I don’t figure he would move his family all the way down here and spend all his time up here if he wasn’t committed,” Poole said. “We have to buy in and trust that he is going to do everything he can to make us better. I’m ready to get started and I think everybody is.”