Broncos defensive tackle Mitch Unrein walked into the club’s weight room for an offseason workout with new Strength and Conditioning Coach Luke Richesson when he discovered that his routine was going to change.
Unbeknownst to Unrein, Richesson was in the process of completely overhauling the team’s weight room, replacing nearly all of the old equipment with brand new machines.
That reminded the second-year player of another weight room that needed to be revamped.
Unrein had been planning a fundraiser to help improve the weight room at Eaton High School — his alma mater. He originally hoped to replace one piece of equipment each year, but with the timing of the Broncos’ redesign, a bigger opportunity presented itself.
“I was like, ‘I wonder what they’re doing with that stuff, I wonder if I could buy it second-hand from them or something,’ Unrein said. “So, I went up and talked to (Broncos Vice President of Operations) Chip (Conway) and Chip said, ‘No, we’re actually donating that stuff.’ I said, ‘Oh, really?’ I told him my situation with my high school and everything and he said that they’d be willing to donate some stuff to my high school.”
And just like that, Eaton High School received entirely new equipment for its weight room, which it desperately needed.
“We literally took everything out of my high school weight room. It was all just junk – if you’d have seen that stuff, you’d have said, ‘I can’t believe kids are lifting with this stuff,’” Unrein recalled. “It was unreal the old stuff that we had. I think it was like 1970s stuff.”
Unrein, along with volunteers from the Broncos and Eaton High School, hired a moving truck and transported the machines, weight plates, squat racks and benches from Dove Valley 80 miles north to the school.
He said that he could feel the positive effect of the new equipment on students before the new gear was even in place.
“When we were bringing that stuff in, we had a lot of the faculty, the staff, a bunch of students were down there just watching us set it up,” he said. “It was a huge thing for the school and I hope it motivates kids in sports.”
Even with the new weight room fully set up, Unrein still plans to hold the fundraiser and will use proceeds to help underprivileged kids in the community who can’t afford their sports fees or the new sporting gear.
“In any sport, you can benefit from lifting weights and working out and stuff like that,” he said. “Even if kids aren’t in sports, I hope it sparks a little fire in them to start working out at a young age.”
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