It’s hard to argue there’s a more storied program in the state than the Brownwood Lions. Many players have come through the program, which has produced numerous collegiate and professional athletes over the years, and they’ll all tell you that it begins with workouts and conditioning. So when there was a chance to give the workout equipment an upgrade, Athletic Director Kyle Maxfield jumped on it.

“The equipment in here was in good shape, it was just a little outdated,” said Maxfield. “The administration, Dr. (Joe) Young and myself began looking for ways to really update the facilities as much as we can and be progressive with it. Honestly, as much time as we spend in here and as much work that goes on in here, we knew it was time. This is where next season starts, so that’s kind of where we started. It started out as a small conversation and then turned into all of this, so I’m really proud of it.”

After looking around at multiple options on how to upgrade it, along with who they should pick to upgrade it, a certain company stood out more than the others. The reasoning? The company is run by none other than a couple of Brownwood alumni.

“We were actually able to get with two former players, Shea Ratliff and Kirby Freeman, who started their own business up a few years ago that specializes in this type of thing,” Maxfield explained. “They’ve done several installations around the state and they do amazing work. It just worked out where they wanted to help us out and help the Brownwood Lions program out. We were willing to spend a little money to get it done, so it just all came together at the right time.”

The new equipment in the weight room has helped both the coaches and the players utilize their time better, which allows them to get more out of their daily routines.

“The biggest change is that we went from having five double-sided racks to now having 10 of them,” Maxfield said. “This allows us to have many more options in our training. We can get a lot more done faster. It makes our workouts move quicker because we can get it done and our tempo is faster since we have double the amount of racks.”

Maxfield has already seen improvement from the changes. He’s also very excited about how those said changes will affect not just the football program, but all of Brownwood’s athletic programs.

“It’s the nicest looking stuff I’ve personally ever seen in a weight room,” he said. “I’d put our equipment up against anybody’s. When it comes to the quality, there’s really none better. To me, when the kids come in here and they see this nice new equipment, it makes them want to work that much more. It gives them evidence that we’re going to do everything we can to give them the best in order to be the best.”

He’s not the only one who’s clearly excited, however.

“The players were amazed,” said Maxfield. “It was like Christmas morning to them. I’ve got to be a part of something like this one other time at Shallowater, so it’s always fun to see their faces when they come in and see it. The equipment here now is just so nice and has that new shine to it, so the kids were really excited. They’ve never complained about anything we’ve had in the past, but they’re kids so when they get new things they get excited. Hopefully it makes them put a little extra work in.”

It gets even better for Brownwood ISD, though. It turns out that the high school isn’t the only campus that will get something out of the upgrades. In fact, Maxfield believes that others may benefit from the upgrades even more so than the high school players.

“We were able to move some of those racks and the equipment that was down here down to the middle school, so they’ve benefitted from it as well. I’d argue that it’s hard not to say they’ve benefitted from it even more than the high school players. It’s right there with it. That’s where we want to start those guys off. Our lifting program and our conditioning is important and with the numbers being so big in the middle school currently, it’s really helped us and helped them. There are no longer kids standing around waiting for their turn on the workout equipment. It’s a lot more systematic and uniformed.”

“It’s great for everyone,” he added.