HNHS athletes and HU students both benefit from joint venture

Huntington University, in collaboration with Huntington North High School, launched a new internship opportunity this fall for exercise science students at the university.

The internship is designed to help students who are specifically interested in the area of strength and conditioning, explains Matthew Ruiz, professor of exercise science at HU.

University students will work with sports teams at the high school during the teams' off-seasons.

"We can do all the classroom stuff in the world but if (students) aren't actually getting any experience, the classroom stuff isn't getting the job done," Ruiz says.

This internship will give students real-life experiences, he says.

Currently, three students are working in the program. They are senior Josh Watson, junior Jace Blackburn and sophomore Scott Skiles.

HU graduate Andrew Drummond, an assistant coach at Huntington North, suggested the idea as a way to create better trained athletes at the high school level.

The HNHS athletic director, Michael Gasaway, worked with the Enterprise Resource Center at HU to build a program. 
Currently, two out-of-season teams are training with the HU students - the varsity girls' and boys' basketball teams.

The students train with the athletes from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the high school.

BreAnne Dyer, the varsity high school women's basketball coach, says the training is already making a difference for her team.
"Giving the high school athletes the chance to learn from individuals who are training to be experts in their fields has helped to create an excellent atmosphere, promoting both hard work and dedication," she says.