The McNicholas mission calls for a wholistic experience for our students: spirit, mind, and body. In January of 2022, we hired our first Director of Sports Performance, Pete Collopy. Since then, the McNicholas weight room has become an active and crowded space. Over 80% of our students have used the facility—not only sports teams, but physical education classes and prospective incoming students. We have simply outgrown our current facility in the auxiliary gym.
“We’d like to develop a more modern Sports Performance Center for all our students. It will be a unique facility among Cincinnati high schools with both indoor and outdoor components,” said McNicholas President Denver Stanfield, MD. The new center will expand the indoor training area and add up to 2,700 square feet of outdoor conditioning space.
Sports Performance Director, Pete Collopy said, “My number one priority is the health and safety of our students. Our current space is only 1,200 square feet, so we find ourselves choosing less optimal training exercises. A larger, enhanced Sports Performance Center will allow us to choose more exercises that are better suited to athletic development and injury avoidance. The additional space would allow our teams to train as one without separating and would allow us to bring in smaller teams at the same time, so our students can get home earlier.”
This is not just your old-fashioned weight room. Modern strength and conditioning is for girls and boys, athletes and non-athletes. It is about building confidence and endurance, and includes education in healthy nutrition and conditioning for flexibility and injury avoidance. Darlene Tierney, Head Girls Volleyball Coach said, “The strength and conditioning program at McNicholas is a game changer. Pete Collopy is invested in the female athlete. As the head women’s volleyball coach, I have seen firsthand that the training our athletes receive results in faster, more agile, more explosive, and resilient athletes. Coach Collopy works hand-in-hand with our coaching staff to achieve the goals of our program.”
Athletic Director Drew Schmidt believes the expanded and renovated Sports Performance Center is “the focal point of the athletic department to train all of our athletes, and is essential for us to succeed in the highly competitive Greater Catholic League and compete for state championships going forward.”
Jordan Wheatley, a sophomore athlete on the girls’ basketball and soccer team regularly works with Coach Pete, but is looking forward to a larger, more accessible center. “Training with Coach Pete has made me a better athlete. It has also reduced my number of injuries and increased my speed and durability,” Jordan said.
One extra benefit to the planned expansion and renovation is that we will better connect our academic campus to our outstanding outdoor athletic facilities in Penn Station Stadium and the Paradise Athletic Complex. “The new connector walkway will be wider, more open, and better lighted, providing a safer path from the lower parking lot to the main campus,” Dr. Stanfield said.
Whether you attend McNick at Night or not, we ask that you consider a gift to support this exciting project to benefit our students.