Jubenal Rodriguez knows the importance of having a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) on campus. The latter are mainstays at most or all of the private schools with strong athletic programs like those in the West Catholic League.
To be without one is a disadvantage, and that’s why Rodriguez went to Athletic Director Lawrence Crawford last year to push for a CSCS. Last week, Sobrato and the Morgan Hill Unified School District signed off for Humberto Medina to be an on-campus teacher, one of many steps that Rodriguez hopes will result in the Bulldogs becoming one of the best teams in the entire Blossom Valley Athletic League.
Sobrato’s football team is currently in the BVAL’s second of three tiers, or B division, but Rodriguez has goals for the program to reach the A division, the Mount Hamilton, in the near future.
“This is a huge step forward for Sobrato High School,” said Rodriguez, who added that Christine Taylor, Sobrato’s P.E. Department Chair, was instrumental in making sure the classes Medina will teach at the school were approved. “Humberto will work with all of the Sobrato student-athletes, not just football. You get a person like this 100 percent of the time at the private schools, but to have him here at a public school is exceptional.”
Medina has a wealth of experience in the strength and conditioning field, having worked the last three years as the sports performance coach at Monte Vista Christian. He’ll be teaching strength-training and exercise science courses at Sobrato, along with giving athletes a weight lifting program specific to their goals and sport.
“I’m super excited for myself and the community,” Medina said. “It’s going to be great that I get to be on campus, which helps a lot because we want to build something for all the athletic teams. I am beyond excited to build something new that is going to benefit the Sobrato athletic community. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Medina, 28, always has a couple of goals in mind whenever he’s working with athletes.
“I want them to be confident in their abilities to perform,” he said. “Building confidence is huge. We want them to be at their best and be able to get out just a little more from them performance-wise that they couldn’t get without a detailed strength and conditioning program. Of course, we want to reduce injuries because if you’re not on the field, you can’t perform.”
Medina is a Watsonville High graduate and earned a degree in kinesiology from San Jose State in 2015. He is certified both as a CSCS and National Strength and Conditioning Association-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT). He’s worked with athletes from SJSU, Cal, Los Angeles Valley College and has done private training through Allegiate Gym.
Sobrato has been making improvements to its weight room and bringing Medina into the mix should better its chances of competing in every sport but especially football, where bigger, stronger and faster directly translates to on-field success.
Medina and Rodriguez complimented Crawford, Sobrato and the school district for making this happen.
“For the last year we’ve gone through hoops and hurdles to get the class approved through the school and district, and I’m just excited because it’s rare for a public school to have an on-campus, qualified strength coach to help out the student-athletes,” Rodriguez said. “Humberto’s hiring is getting celebrated in the strength and conditioning profession as we speak.”
Emanuel Lee can be reached at weeklys.com