And the man helping construct those elements is Charlie Conner, who oversees the strength and conditioning programs for many Trailblazers sports.
“He’s a hidden secret for us,” said Boone athletic director Danny Good. “We’re fortunate to have a setup like this. Large city schools and colleges are usually the only ones who have it.”
Boone was the first area school to use one coach to oversee strength and conditioning. Since Conner took over in 2014, Boone has recorded two state tournament appearances, two regional titles, five region runner-up finishes, six district championships and six conference crowns.
“And that’s just the programs who use him: football, baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, and volleyball,” Good said. “He’s committed and dedicated. His experience provides student- athletes an opportunity to be their very best in a safe and constructive environment. He’s phenomenal.
“And he fits in with everyone. Even the students taking his (physical education) class who aren’t athletes will benefit from things like meal prepping and eating properly. He does a tremendous job.”
The David Crockett and East Tennessee State graduate participated in many powerlifting competitions and won four national championships. His first came at the collegiate level, and he followed it up with Open championships in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Conner was teaching physical education at Ridgeview Elementary when Good targeted him as a great fit for Boone.
“Mr. Good saw an opportunity to bring the strength and conditioning programs under one umbrella,” Conner explained.
The 30-year-old Conner said the success of his program hinges on being able to move.
“Learning how to move really well is the biggest thing I preach,” he said. “We drill the fundamentals, and we are good at the basics.”
On Conner’s to-do list are: full range of motion, squats, bench presses, overhead presses, dead lifts, power cleans, push-ups and pull-ups.
“We do other things, but those are the meat and potatoes,” Conner said. “Those are the same exercises everybody does. I just think the depth we go into and the detail we expect makes a difference.”
Another thing that helps is having kids who listen and give effort.
“I’m sure I’m biased, but we have great kids,” Conner said. “Even over this break, with everything going on, the football kids were working out six days a week. We have kids who want to work hard.”
Conner’s work is a 12-month process, but he said he’s not in the same boat with Good in terms of busyness.
“I’m not even close to as busy as Mr. Good,” he said. “I know what all he does. But my work is also year round. If you want to be strong, it’s not something you can do six weeks before the season starts.”