Brand new Northwestern High School football coach Mark Brooks said he is thrilled to announce the induction of three new members to the 1,000 lb. Club.
The 1,000 lb. Club includes students who have lifted 1,000 pounds or more in combination of three weight-lifting exercises – bench press, squat and deadlift.
Juniors Cooper Wagner and Matt Lauscher and freshman Chris Rooks accomplished that feat this week.
Wagner benched 235 pounds, squatted with 360 pounds and deadlifted 405 pounds, totaling exactly 1,000 pounds.
Lauscher benched 225 pounds, squatted with 340 pounds and deadlifted 435 pounds, totaling exactly 1,000.
And Rooks, the powerhouse freshman, benched 225 pounds, squatted with 370 pounds and deadlifted an impressive 505 pounds, totaling 1,100 pounds.
Brooks, 30, who is the health and phys ed teacher at Northwestern Middle School, said for him, “football is family.”
“I’m excited to get started – I want to bring my own practice style and plan,” Brooks said. “Every kid on the JV and varsity team is going to be coached by the same coaches.”
Brooks, who was appointed head coach during the Feb. 20 school board meeting, wasted no time getting started.
By the end of his first week as coach he had 18 players in the weight room. And he said over the last few weeks he’s had more than 35 kids lifting every day, including three girls.
Brooks is serving his first year in the middle school after coming to Northwestern at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year as the high school gym teacher.
He graduated from Harbor Creek High School in 2005, where he played football versus Northwestern.
“I have many fond memories on this field,” Brooks said, looking at Rogers Field.
Brooks attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, attaining a degree in education in 2011.
He coached various teams throughout college and from 2007 to 2011 was the JV head coach at Harbor Creek.
For the past five years, Brooks has been the varsity defensive line coach at Cathedral Prep. He helped coach the Ramblers to two state championships – one in 2012 and one in 2017 – his first and last years with the team.
This past winter, Brooks was the eighth-grade boys head basketball coach for Northwestern.
Brooks takes over for former head coach and middle school science teacher D.J. Hough, who finished his sixth season as head coach last fall with a 1-9 record.
“The team didn’t have a great season last year, but Northwestern’s football tradition is really proud and really strong, and I want to help build the program,” Brooks said. “I want to contribute to the tradition.”
Brooks said he would make himself available to the Northwestern Little Gridder and middle school programs however possible.
He said has ideas for kids’ football camps during summer, run by the high school team, and team community outreach projects.
Brooks said he also plans to implement a character-building program as part of the team’s routine.
“I want as many kids out as we can get out,” Brooks said. “There is strength in numbers.”