Athlete of the Month
Every month an athlete is selected for ‘Athlete of the Month’ honors. This award is reserved for the athlete who best exemplifies what PowerStrength is all about during that month- we say they are “lethal!”. Dedication, hard work, responsibility, commitment to the program/nutrition, and results in the gym and the classroom all play a factor in this honor. The athlete receives a t-shirt specially reserved for Athletes of the Month and of course, plenty of respect in the gym…they’ve earned it.
January – Clay Ware
He’s worked hard to join some good company by earning this award. Clay trained with us in 8th grade and returned to us this past fall.
He wanted to get stronger, gain weight, and heal some nagging injuries (things no athlete his age should have). He trains 5x per week and has bought into the program.
Now, he’s as strong as ever, gained 19lbs in the last few months, and got rid of his pain. Some athletes talk about it while others be about it. We’re looking forward to what the rest of the off-season will do for him as he uses his time to improve.
Don’t talk about it, be about it.
February – Dalton Agers
Dalton has been with us just over 3-months, trains 3x/week, and adds another session with our HS Combine Prep group. He’s gained over 30lbs, added 60lbs to his squat, and added 8 reps to his 225lb bench test since December – and as an all-area football Dream Team selection this past fall, he was no slouch when he came to us!
Dalton has quickly earned “PSTS Disciple” status and is setting himself up for a big senior year. Great job Dalton, the #PSTSFam thanks you for your dedication and effort!
March – David Fox
March Athlete of the Month was grabbed by junior David Fox of West Catholic! David got to work this winter and hasn’t looked back as he prepares to lead his team to a 4th straight football state title and his dream of playing college ball.
Training 4-5x per week, joining our football combine prep program, and focusing on his nutrition and recovery has him primed for a big summer and senior season. He’s gained over 15lbs, added 40+lbs to his bench, and continues to develop into one of West Michigan’s elite athletes!
Coming to us as a gifted athlete already, David will tell you firsthand how beneficial it is to train alongside other athletes with the same blue collar mindset in order to step your game up – on and off the field!
Well done David and great job!
January- Brett Foley
Our January Athlete of the Month is Comstock Park Senior Brett Foley. This was an extra-special recipient this month given the obstacles Brett has overcome. Truthfully, when Brett first came to us 13-months ago he was around 180 lbs. and didn’t have anything to write home about athletically. What he did have was a desire to improve and the work ethic to see it through. He gained over 20 lbs. that winter and earned All-Conference Honor’s in lacrosse as a junior. Brett had to overcome a lot to get where he is now and has made huge gains! After working back from an ACL injury, Brett is stronger and healthier than he was before his injury. His upper body strength, and his overall physique in general, has totally transformed. What may have changed the most is this young man’s mindset and attitude. Brett is a leader and you’ll be hard pressed to find a more respectful and responsible young man. Brett has also been offered and accepted a scholarship to play college lacrosse at Lawrence Tech University! We are excited to see the rest of Brett’s journey unfold!
February- Jarod Rodgers
Jarod Rodgers is our February Athlete of the Month. This was his fourth month coming to us 3x per week. After his senior season of football Jarod wanted to step out of his comfort zone, where he was one of the top athletes, and work towards continuing his career at the next level.
He came to us weighing 190 lbs. and had a solid season. Jarod still wanted more and he hasn’t looked back since. Like many kids his age, he still needed to improve his upper body strength and explosiveness. Jarod put on 25 lbs. in 4-months and you can still see his abs at 215 lbs! He’s add inches to his vertical and his strength has gone through the roof. His upper body has caught up to his lower body yet he’s still faster than ever. Whoever says gaining weight will slow you down is misinformed, doing it wrong, or both.
Jarod is one of the finest young men we have with tremendous character. His work ethic and attention to detail speaks for itself as he has made improvements across the board! We are proud to have him as a representative of the PSTS family!
March – Thomas Bowes
Brett’s dream was to play college football. After his senior year he didn’t know what school he was going to commit to and had a surgically repaired shoulder. Throughout this whole process, with great support from home, he stayed positive and worked his tail off on what he could control. Brett has a blue collar mindset through and through.
A few months ago Brett returned to us full-time, training at least 4x per week. His post-rehab on his shoulder is going great (great surgeon!) and he’s making huge progress across the board. In addition to training and working a job, Brett also travels to Illinois 2x per week to throw with his future teammates. Brett is one of the select few that takes part in our Prime Advanced Nutrition program that PSTS Coach Skyler Davis runs. This has allowed him to improve his energy, lose body fat, and gain muscle.
Austin wanted to gain muscle, improve his jumping ability, and be prepared for a college strength and conditioning program. Since then he’s gained over 13lbs of muscle and added inches to his vertical. The best thing is that Austin has reported how much he has felt his hard work pay off on the court. His commute to the gym is over 30mins one-way and he worked a full-time job this summer. Austin never missed a training session and has done everything we’ve asked of him.
Austin trains alongside other prominante basketball players from the area with PSTS coach Brian Palmer. Brian has been changing the game in which basketball players prepare themselves for the court and Austin is another example of that. Can’t wait to follow along with his college career!
August – Liza Elder
We’re very proud of all the work she has put in, and having it all pay off makes it even more awesome. All types of athletes, male or female, can learn a lot from Liza’s work ethic and dedication to improve.
She was looking for a program to give her more of a physical and mental edge and we’re glad she found us! 4x state champ, 2x All-American, 2015 Midwest Player of the Year this year, and with the opportunity to play for a top D1 program in college- yet she’s still hungry and always humble.
Liza did everything we asked. She trained 4-5x/week, followed a custom nutrition plan (thanks PSTS coach Skyer), trained during the season, and kept her skill work high while she was away from the gym.
Awesome job and the PSTS family will miss you as you head off to college!
September – Tyler Baker
Tyler has been with us since 8th grade and now he’s about to start his senior basketball season – time flies!
Tyler is a 6’5, 200lb shooter who is strong and physical enough to bang down low. This, combined with gaining 10″+ on his vertical over the years, is only built through consistent training. It has also led to college offers and Tyler working towards his dream.
He’s the leader of PSTS Coach Brian’s hooper crew and we’re very proud of all his work. From a goofy 8th grader to a confident, respectful young man. Can’t wait to watch this season!
October – Isiah Dunning
Isiah has been part of the PSTS Family since day 1 and even trained with Mark back in high school. He has been a huge influence in setting the standard of PSTS – he also sports the first ever PowerStrength tattoo since 2012.
After a standout football career at GVSU, he’s continued to train and will be off to Australia next summer to play professionally. Whether as a HS athlete, a college athlete, an NFL combine athlete, or as a pro- Isiah has done it all and continues to raise his effort and goals even higher.
Rarely do we give this out to our older athletes but this was well-deserved! It’s also a prime example to those who want to get to where Isiah has been and is heading. You have to be in love with the process of getting better and persist as long as it takes.
November – Meredith Howe
Meredith takes her preparation very seriously- she trains year-round, plays multiple sports, and has taken part in our Prime Advanced Nutrition course.
This past month she wrapped up her senior volleyball season. She could have taken a week off and nobody would have blamed her – but Meredith got right back to work. She’s a leader within the gym as she sets the example for many of our other female athletes and volleyball players.
Meredith will be attending Ohio University for volleyball next fall.
December – Carl Meyers
Carl has put together a high school resume that is among the top in the area.
After the state championship win Carl was right back in the gym training 4-5x per week and working to improve himself as an athlete. This blue collar, champion mindset is why he has been successful- he is one of the most athletic big men around. His work ethic, attitude, and commitment are all great examples for younger athletes to mimic.
Carl is on his 3rd year training with us and it’s fitting that he is the one to close down the original garage as we transition in 2016 to a new facility.
He will be walking on at Michigan next year for both football and track.
January – Alex Kaminski
Alex Kaminski has been with us for almost 2 years now and we realized he has never earned this award even though there were month’s he probably should’ve. He’s participated in lacrosse and wrestling but excels at football and is on the path to play at the college level. Alex has very high expectations for himself and actually stopped wrestling this past season to come back and train 4 days per week (not including the stuff he does on his own) with us in order to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself.
Alex is by far one of the toughest athletes we’ve ever had at PSTS (that’s saying something!). From an athletic standpoint, he built himself into an All-Conference football player, while starting on both sides of the ball and leading his team to a 10-1 record. He’s also extremely competitive and mentally tough. Losing and not giving 100% are just not options for him. Alex takes this same mentality to the classroom as he boasts a 3.9 GPA.
Alex is the type of young man that will experience multiple levels of success in a variety of areas in life, yet is humble enough to not tell you about any of it. He’s a walking prototype of the kind of athlete (and person) we want to attract to PowerStrength. We’ll keep working while we wait and see where he’ll be attending school next year – whoever lands him will get a high-quality young man.
February – Steve Eipper
March – Daniel Rodgers
From 128lbs to 173lbs…Big Dan has gained 45lbs of muscle in almost two years of being at PSTS. He trains 4-5x/week with us and also attends his high school workouts. His work ethic is outstanding and he’s always hungry to learn. Proof that you have to start somewhere. Dan will continue on his road to become as jacked as possible and is also one of the strongest pound-for-pound athletes we have. He’s earned all of it and we’re proud of this young man.
April – Max Mulder
Max is finishing up his junior year and has been with us for nearly 2 years. While he’s always been serious, Max has been extra focused and driven the last couple of months. He plays football and basketball and has hopes of playing football at the next level. He was an All-Conference football player last season and was a big contributor to one of the state’s best defenses.
Even with spring break this month, Max logged 20 workouts with us. He’s also very dedicated to his high school program and trains with his team 3-4x/week (we can easily adjust our workouts to compliment his team training so he doesn’t get crushed). Taking ownership of his nutrition, Max started a new way of eating (thanks to the guidance of long-time PSTS supporter and parent Phil Heim, who has helped a number of our serious athletes) for his goals and has shown extreme discipline in this area. He has gained close to 20lbs in the last two months alone.
Max is a prime example of someone who “wants it bad enough”. He never makes excuses and always has a great mindset.
“I already worked out once today, I’m not going to train.”
“I can’t gain weight.”
“I’m a little sore.”
“I just don’t have time.”
Max could’ve easily said all of these and they would’ve been true. We hear these from “serious” athletes all the time. The difference between Max and them is that they don’t want it bad enough – Max does.
May – Jack Collins
Jack started at 166lbs and 7-months later is at 198lbs. Dropped over two-tenths off his 40, power and strength have gone through the roof since he started. One of the most dedicated athletes we have (that’s saying something). No matter what, Jack shows up to train 4-5x/week without fail. He is a true PSTS disciple. Proud of this guy and looking forward to a great senior football season- after a STRONG summer of training of course.
June – Kole Krauss
Kole has been with us for 3-months now and trains 3x per week. Kole is one of the hardest working athletes we have and is preparing for next wrestling season.
Pound-for-pound, Kole is without a doubt one of the strongest and toughest athletes we’ve ever had. One of Kole’s best qualities is that he doesn’t show when he’s tired. He’s there to train and get better and you can see that focus in his eyes during his training sessions. Because of this, his strength is going through the roof while he maintains his bodyweight. We are always challenging him to see what he can do next and he rarely disappoints. Many times Kole trains alongside larger athletes so he is stuck using a few extra plates on the sled or a few extra pounds on the loaded carries. Kole refuses to take the weights off so he just digs down and gets it done.
We could talk about Kole forever. We always look forward to watching our athletes hard work pay off but we’re definitely EXTRA excited to see what this young man has in store this season. He’s not just getting stronger physically, but mentally I think he’ll be ready to beat his opponents before the match even starts. Until then, we’ll keep working.
July – Matt VanOpstall
Matt is an original PSTS disciple and has trained with us for 4 years now (225lbs to 304lbs- lineman weight!). Many months he was deserving but this month just seemed to fit. Matt is one of our leaders and responsible for many athletes coming to PSTS. He is a prime example of what dedicating yourself to training truly means. Matt first came to us to prep for his first year of college ball. He set himself up to earn playing time after his redshirt year and is now a starter. Can’t wait to watch as he has two seasons left. Proud of his accomplishments so far and thankful he is a part of the PowerStrength family.
August – Austin Boone
This young buck is an animal and trained with us 3x/week for the last 3-months to prep for football and wrestling. Being only in 7th grade- he is our youngest athlete to earn this award. The discipline, work ethic, and winning mindset he is developing is what training youth athletes is all about. Being physically more advanced than other athletes his age, he is always lending a hand and helping them out in the gym. Future leader and future champ.
We don’t discriminate when it comes to age, gender, sport, or goals- everyone just needs to have desire and we’ll help make it happen. Love working with youth athletes like Austin! Proud of this guy.
P.S. after a couple of serious-face pics he couldn’t help but smile. When I told him guys typically don’t do that he said he wanted to and couldn’t help it. Good man.
September – Ben Keller
After a crazy summer lax schedule, Ben has gone from a couple workouts a week to training 4x/week for 9-weeks straight and never misses. His dedication and work is paying off as he’s added 3″ to his vertical while gaining close to 20lbs! Ben was your typical young athlete who needed to add muscle, strength, and speed. The difference is he stopped talking about it and took relentless action towards improving. Love having Ben in the gym and this sophomore is in for a huge lax season! Proud of this young man. Never satisfied.
October – Jack Parker
Jack has been with us for almost a year now but ramped it up the last 5-months to make some solid gains. His consistency and dedication is unlike many kids is age. His maturity and responsibility have also grown along with his athleticism. Jack set our 8th grade vertical jump record as he’s added close to 5″ since beginning his training. Even with basketball season starting, Jack (with the help of his supportive parents!) still makes it a priority to get his sessions in during his busy schedule. Proud of this young man.
November – Will VanderArk
Will has trained with us 3x+ for over 8-months now and has a 25+min commute- while also training at his school. His results have been a direct correlation to his dedication and commitment. Will has dropped over 35+lbs of bodyweight to completely transform athletically and physically. He has set new PR after new PR and it’s been awesome to watch. Will has added 65+lbs to his bench, 5″ to his vertical, you wouldn’t believe his squat gains, and more importantly, he now attacks every session with purpose and intensity. Will is a part of our PSTS Family and everyone enjoys chattig and training with Will. He’s set himself up for a solid rugby senior season while working towards playing at the next level.
December – Grant Bearss
Grant faced some adversity towards the end of November but he responded by logging 25 workouts with us during December! He put on size, gained strength, but had the opportunity to train with older athletes who pushed him every session to give all he had. Grant welcomed it and fit right in.
Grant first came to us over a year and a half ago as he was entering 8th grade. He went through our Little Beast program for our youth athletes and progressed to high school with ease. He knows how to work hard, receive coaching, understands proper technique, and knows his way around a weight room better than athletes 2-3 years older than him.
Grant has set himself up to experience even bigger athletic gains as he safely built a solid athletic foundation. With the help of his supportive parents, Grant has worked to take advantage of any opportunity that should come his way.
We’re proud of this young man because of his work ethic, but also because he is one of the most respectable young athletes we’ve ever had. It’s a privilege to have him as a part of the PSTS Family.
January – Stefan Stasiulewicz
The athlete of the month for January is junior Stefan Stasiulewicz. Stefan has been training with us 3x/week for a year- he is an athletic FREAK! Stefan can squat over 355lbs for reps and can literally to anything in the gym. Not many high school athletes have this capability. Stefan always works hard but he really stepped it up the last couple months and was extra driven. He hammered his nutrition and met his goal of 175lbs- he’s gained 20lbs of obvious muscle since he started with us! While gaining weight he also improved his vertical jump and can jump 30+”!
Stefan is mobile, athletic, strong, fast, and explosive. Ask his training partners what it’s like to keep up with Stefan in the gym- not many, if ANYONE can do it. What’s almost more impressive is how much he has matured in the last year and how dedicated he is to making himself better! You can’t measure this in pounds! This is a well-deserved award and just another thing Stefan can check off his goal sheet!
February – Rylan Prafke
The athlete of the month for February is senior Rylan Prafke. As soon as he finished his All-Conference football season he signed up with us full-time right away. He’s been with us for 16-weeks straight and trains 3x/week. Every month Rylan was getting better and improving but something still needed to click. This month that wasn’t the case as Rylan put it into the next gear!
Rylan has gone from 279lbs to 291lbs but is leaner and much more athletic. Like most guys his age, he couldn’t squat to proper depth when he first came to us and had poor hip mobility. Rylan realized this and put in the work to bring up this glaring weakness. He’s literally added over 100lbs to his box squat in 16-weeks WHILE lowering the box height 3”. This is huge progress! Rylan’s college athletic future is still being determined but whatever he decides he’ll dominate. He knows how to work hard towards a goal and expects a lot out of himself. Great month for Rylan Prafke!
March – Jesse Peterson
Our March Athlete of the Month is Jesse Peterson. Jesse trained with PSTS for his shot at the NFL and has consistently been breaking his own records and never settling. Jesse has put on close to 20lbs, gained 4” on his vertical, posted some awesome times for an o-linemen in his running tests, and has improved his 225lb reps. His work ethic is what being the Athlete of the Month is all about. The one quality about Jesse that can’t be measured is his leadership ability. He is a great role model to our younger athletes with his dedication and spirit. Having these role models constantly around PowerStrength is invaluable! Keep following along with Jesse’s success!
April – Steve Meekhof
The athlete of the month for April is Steven Meekhof. Steve DOMINATED his first 12-weeks with us and is still making plenty of progress. He has goals of playing college football and they are looking bright as he continues to work! Steve trains 4x/week and is an animal! He has set bench, chin-up, grip, and jump records in the gym so far. Steve has put over 100lbs on his squat and 3-inches on his vertical! Even more impressive is that he has improved his overall mobility and is moving more efficiently.
We can talk numbers all day but the reason Steve earned this award is because of his discipline in and out of the gym and his leadership. He’s constantly ready to help out guys in the gym and eager to encourage. Steve is always in attendance for our PowerLead meetings and makes his goals a lifestyle.
May – Jake Bull
The athlete of the month for May is Jake Bull. Jake is one of the most coachable and driven athletes we’ve ever had! He just finished his third month with us and trains 3x/week- never missing! Jake has went from 225lbs to 235lbs and gained 5-inches (29″ to 34″) on his vertical in 11-weeks! This is the biggest increase in that amount of time in gym history! He also came to us fresh off of shoulder surgery and can now bench 80lb DB’s for easy reps, perform 30+ push-ups, and do 14 chin-ups.
Jake has attended all of our PowerLead meetings and is a class act! Jake still has the rest of the summer with us and we’re privileged to have him! His work will continue to pay off Jake will be entering his freshman football season at Hillsdale College in the fall. The Chargers found themselves a good one!
This has never happened before but we as a coaching staff couldn’t single out one athlete to be our athlete of the month for June. There were a number of athletes who were in the running but we couldn’t nail down one who separated themselves from the group. We expect all of our athletes to show up on time, be consistent, work hard, and achieve their goals. We won’t give this award out to just anyone and not everyone gets a trophy! We’ve been hounding our athletes about leadership and we expected someone to take a big step forward and BE THE MAN (or woman). I’m proud that there were 5-7 guys that stepped up but it was too close to single someone out.
July told a different story as we again had many who deserved recognition (this is a great problem to have!). Again, not everyone gets a trophy but we were about to come to blows as coaches as we tried to decide. So, our ‘3’Athletes of the Month are 3 animals who really stepped it up.
Wyatt has been training with us 2-3x/week off and on for a year in which he has transformed himself. In that time he’s put on over 15lbs and is strong and jacked! He also dropped his 40yd dash into the 4.5s. Not many guys are more competitive and tougher than Wyatt. Another great summer has Wyatt primed for his senior season with hopes of playing at the next level. He’s a lethal dude and if you ever get to watch him play you’ll notice his impact right away. Wyatt is also a natural leader who holds his teammates and peers accountable.
Kenny has been with us for over 4-months and trains 3x/week with reckless abandon (maniac). Kenny has gained over 10lbs of muscle and his strength has gone through the roof. He’s faster and even more driven to have a great season. He used to train with his high school then come straight to the gym to train some more! Kenny then began training with our advanced high school group and was the smallest and weakest one! This motivated him even more as his competitiveness won’t let him shy away from anything- his progress soared because of it! Be on the lookout for this maniac this fall!
Matt is a football and basketball player who has been training with us for over 5-months. Matt trains 3-4x/week with his high school and 3-4x at the gym- no excuses! Putting the extra time in the gym (especially with the soft tissue and recovery work) will pay off for Matt. Matt is a tremendous student, which is another reflection of his drive and work ethic. He’s not afraid of hard work and uses his free time to get better while others make excuses! Matt trains 6-7x per week while others have trouble training 2-3x!! He has hopes of playing at the next level but is focused on having a stellar season with the Red Arrows.
July – Nobody was deserving – kept standards high
August – Steve Cress
The athlete of the month for August is Rockford water polo player Stephan Cress. If you don’t know much about water polo, let me tell you it is a grueling sport! Not many of these athletes train the way we train for whatever reason. However, Steve came to us 4-months ago from another facility. After a month of training 3x/week he jumped to training 4x/week. His work ethic and dedication is outstanding. Did I mention he still had practice 3-4x/week and played in tournaments on the weekends? We never heard one excuse and we actually had to slow him down a bit for his own good, as he always wanted to push the pace! The biggest thing that Steve likes about PSTS is all our unique stretches and soft-tissue work – this keeps him feeling good, helps recover from his workouts, and improves his movement quality. He never performed any of this stuff before and it has made a world of difference.
Steve still trains 3x/week despite being in-season. He has aspirations of competing at the next level after a successful senior season. We don’t doubt he’ll accomplish this for a second.
September – Colin Riemersma
The athlete of the month for September is Colin Riemersma, a junior basketball player from Comstock Park. Colin has trained with us 3x/week for 6-months. He has added 4” to his vertical while gaining over 15lbs of bodyweight! His consistency and work ethic since day 1 has been outstanding and we’re so pumped to have Colin as a part of our gym family.
The thing about Colin is that he knew he had to get better physically to elevate his game. He didn’t wait until the season was 2-months away. Instead, he dedicated his entire off-season to getting bigger, stronger, and more explosive. This is the type of preparation we like to see. We know he’ll be ready – but more importantly, COLIN knows he’ll be ready. These gains in confidence are hard to measure with pounds or inches, but you know it when you see it. We’re very excited to watch Colin on the court this year!
October- Grant Lardieri
November – Nobody was deserving – kept standards high
December- Peter Fisk
December Athlete of the Month is Peter Fisk. Pete has been training with us 3-4x per week for over year. He was an All-Conference lacrosse player last year as a sophomore and is preparing for another big spring and summer season. Pete also plays football and was back in the gym immediately following the season determined to continue to develop himself into the best athlete he can be.
Pete is a great athlete with a rare blend of strength, size, speed, quickness, and just plain athleticism. His vision and the way he moves on the either playing field is fun to watch. He’s already gained muscle and his strength is always improving. Pete is focused and has begun to take a larger leadership role amongst his peers, which helped him earn Athlete of the Month honors. This won’t be the last time you hear us talk about Peter Fisk as he has a bright athletic future.
January – Gus Penning
February – Travis Lasley
March – Tyler James
April – Jake Howe
May – Evan Macauley
June – Cam White
July – Marcus Matthews
August – Sam Rennaker
September – Kathryn Pilzcuk
October – Adam Zacha
November – David Chuol
December – Drew Barron-Kraus
June – Bob Halso and Brian Hohendorf
July – Lance Deemter
August – Ahmad Qassem
September – Marcus Barissi
October – Karum Abdelqader
November – Austin McCrory
December – Colin Moran