SALINEVILLE - For Southern Local graduate Jim Pastore and his son Jamin, a weight room is as much for building character as it is for building muscle.
Jim, the owner of JPI Companies and Jamin, president and CEO of the company, sought to strengthen the community in which they both grew up by donating a state-of-the-art weight room to the Southern Local School district on behalf of the Pastore Family Foundation.
An enthusiastic crowd of school administrators, coaches, board members, and students assembled at the district's newly finished field house Thursday to get a look at the new equipment.
The Pastore Family Foundation donated a top-of-the-line weight room to the Southern Local School District on Thursday as part of its ongoing commitment to helping area young people realize their potential. Pictured are Jim Pastore the owner of JPI Companies, John Rigby, School Board Vice President Kip Dowling, District Superintendent John Wilson, Sam Pucket of JPI Companies, School Board member Mike Abraham, High School Football Coach Mike Skrinjar, and Jamin Pastore the CEO and President of JPI Companies. (Photo by Devin Bezeredi)
Complete with eight adjustable weight racks, weight benches, four full sets of rubber bumper plates, medicine balls, two complete sets of dumbbells, jump boxes leg and glut machines and a rubberized floor - all from Rogue Fitness - the weight room is state-of-the-art and tailored to Southern's athletes.
Jamin Pastore, an elite athlete in his time as a wide receiver for Beaver Local and Duke University, personally oversaw the layout of the weight room to mirror the design of a division one college program. Jamin says the purpose of his design was to maximize athletes' speed, power and explosiveness. The weight room will be able to accommodate 40 to 50 students at a time, according to Pastore.
"We just wanted to give them a good foundation to start from," said Jamin Pastore.
The Pastores' know a thing or two about athletics. Through their partnership with XPE Sports and Ultimate athletics they host top rated NFL combine training camps in Florida which draw many of the nation's top pro and college athletes.
Never forgetting where he came from, Jim Pastore has facilitated college scholarships for many area athletes. He says his real passion in life is seeing young people fulfill their academic, athletic and human potential and hopes his donation can help with all three.
Southern Local head football coach Mike Skrinjar was ecstatic about the positive impact he says the new weight room will have on his players and all the district's sports programs.
He says he hopes it will be a resource that will cultivate discipline as well as help him put stronger, faster football players on the field. He noted that at the team's old weight room facility there were sometimes distractions from various other school sports and after school activities. At the weight room in the new field house, Skrinjar says he will be able to focus his players' attention on creating a culture of hard work and community pride.
"It (the weight room) is all for a reason and that reason is to put great kids on the field that are going to perform well and represent the area and the people that believe in them," said Skrinjar. "When we walk through these doors, it'll be all business."
School Board member Mike Abraham echoed Skrinjar's excitement, saying the donated weight room is an important part of the district's continued overall improvement as a school and a community.
"We've got the curriculum turned around, we've got good people (staff members) and administrators in place," said Abraham. "Every aspect of Southern Local is improving.