Getting fit for fall: ORR students win CrossFit scholarships

Aug 9, 2016

Summer is shaping up nicely for two Old Rochester Regional students training at Wareham’s Seaside CrossFit.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Elise Frangos joined forces with CrossFit gym owners and Marion residents Matt and Jenn Christopher to give two students a way to prepare for high school sports and to practice their writing.

“We wanted to give back to high school and middle school athletes that might not be able to afford something like this, who do well in school but also excel on the field,” said Jenn Christopher.

ORR eighth graders were charged to write an essay on how they would best make use of Seaside CrossFit’s resources. Physical educators Maggie Rossi and Charles Jancaterino along with Frangos, a former English teacher, and Junior High Principal Kevin Brogioli judged the entries, choosing Paul Kippenburger and Kate Downey.

Downey wrote, “to truly be an athlete means not only to love playing sports, but to be in the best physical condition to compete in these games.”

A multi-sport athlete, Downey wrote that she wanted to work on strength and speed.

The program has proven effective in these areas as well as in reducing the risk of injury, said Jenn Christopher.

Previous scholarship recipients have shown dramatic improvement, including Wareham High School quarterback Isaac Nascimento.

“He’s gotten really strong and really fast,” said Christopher.

Three dozen or so sessions into the training, Kippenberger, a Mattapoisett resident, is feeling those same effects.

He hasn’t been on a team in a while, but wanted to get in shape so he could compete on a high school team.

Moving into the ninth grade is a “new chapter” in his life and he wants to be ready.

Coach Ben Smith has been working with the students, and said it’s exactly what they need as they enter high school.

“It’s important to teach at this age,” said Smith. Plus, it will get them ready for college. “It will put them ahead of their peers.”

Kippenberger said he isn’t sure what sport he will tryout for in the fall (he’s weighing football, golf and track), but he knew a summer on the couch wasn’t for him.

“I felt like I needed to get fit,” he said. “I felt like I had to do something over the summer.”