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Jerome’s New Strength and Conditioning Coach

This article was written by students in the "Writing For Publication" class at Dublin Jerome High School taught by Mrs. Trisler. All views and opinions in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions nor policies of Dublin Jerome High School.

Jerome’s New Strength and Conditioning Coach

Dublin Jerome welcomes former NFL player and international bobsledder Bryce Cheek to the weight room to condition and strength-train Jerome’s athletes. 

by Claire McBride and Lauren Toth
Jan 24, 2023

Coach Bryce CheekWith the start of the 2023 year, Jerome made a new start with our brand new strength and conditioning coach: Bryce Cheek! 29-year-old Bryce is an accomplished athlete in the fields of football, track, and even bobsledding. With his diverse athletic background and bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology/Pre-Physical Therapy, Bryce is the perfect fit for training our Jerome Celtic athletes.

Even before collegiate-level sports at the University of Akron, Bryce had been an avid athlete since high school. During his four years at Olentangy High School (where he now coaches football), Bryce not only ran track, but also played football, where he won multiple awards for both sports. After graduating from the University of Akron, Bryce continued to play football for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL and the BC Lions in the Canadian Football League as a defensive back.

Those who have been in the weight room recently may have already met the new strength and conditioning coach. An accomplished athlete himself, he’s really looking forward to continuing his work with our athletes going into the spring sports season. So far, it’s been going well– good kids and a good program. His own experience helps him curate and lead exercises to provide some training for our athletes outside of practice.

During his interview, Bryce shared an interesting anecdote about how he got into running track. After being placed in the wrong room in the YMCA as a child, in which a track and field event was about to commence, he ended up running, winning, and starting a successful track career. This story is comparable to his recent experiences at Jerome. He’s been placed into a new environment, with athletes he’s still getting familiar with, and he’s learning each day, thriving in this new space.

Picking a “greatest achievement” is not an easy task when you’ve had so much success. When asked for his, Bryce couldn’t pick just one moment, however, he recalled a particularly exciting memory. Beating Clemson by a minuscule hundredth of a second, his track team was able to attend nationals. His teammates had grown up competing against him, and for that moment they all shared this incredible, almost palpable victory. Even though athletics can be incredibly rewarding, there are times when we want to quit in the middle of the race, rather than cross the all-too-distant finish line. In these times, the mental game is very important– our strength and conditioning coach agrees with that. He ensures that he works to create an environment where the stress of school, family, or relationships doesn’t take too much of a toll on our Jerome athletes. He envisions Jerome’s weight room as “a free space… a fun space where you guys can kind of express yourselves, have fun, and still get good work.”

It’s likely that the new Dublin motto “better together” has appeared around the school a time or two. In the weight room, this idea is being put into action. Bryce reiterates that it’s about the team, about working together while pushing yourself individually. Bryce describes his personal motto as “Why not?” His goal is to help push our athletes to be the best they can be at anything they put their minds to, “if you ever want to try it, try it. But I will say there's a lot more that goes into it”. His go-for-it mentality is what brought him into the world of bobsledding after he was given the opportunity to learn the sport with some of his football teammates.

“Ice is not very smooth. It can be very bumpy…it's like a roller coaster. I know they built it [what is ‘it”] to work, but ice, I'm a little less sure about”. This description Bryce gave of his nerves while bobsledding translates to the weight room and athletics in general. It’s going to be scary and challenging, and you’re going to have ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll fall. “But I would say my first time ever to…crash- terrible. I never wish it on anybody… But from there, I stuck with it and it was good”. As a weight trainer, Bryce encourages our athletes to stick with it, to keep trying and getting stronger. We’re so excited to welcome him to Jerome, where we are all better together.