GALLERY: Florala High School opens new weight room through donation

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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Florala High School received a generous donation from one of its own and returned from spring break to the unveiling of its newly renovated athletics weight room on Monday, April 1.

A ribbon cutting was held before the remodeled weight room was unveiled. The updated facility has eight power stations and an assortment of 5 to 100- lb. kettlebells and dumbbells. There are also three glute ham developer machines known as GHD’s and plyo boxes for jump training.

Demetrius Henderson is a 2001 FHS alumnus and the owner of Henderson Flooring Installations based in San Diego, California. He worked with the school to make this vision possible.

“This project was about giving back, and when I graduated from Florala, there were so many people who helped me to get where I am today. We wanted to give these kids an opportunity to do and envision everything they wanted with their new weight room,” Demetrius said. “Giving back to my hometown school is bigger than life for me. It’s part of a legacy we will leave for the kids who come more from the background I come from. All of these athletes at Florala should be given that same opportunity.”

His wife Candace said it was wonderful to see the community come together.

“It was not just the local community but also the additional resources who helped make this possible. When manufacturers heard about this project and Demetrius’ passion for it, they wanted to help. We could not have done this without Ecore International in Ozark or Legend Fitness. Both were a big part in making sure they could get the most possible done for Florala High School,” she said.

Demetrius added that his company Henderson Installations has worked with Ecore and Legend Fitness.

“With the passion I have for this project, they were all for helping out. We were able to get expedited items, and those two companies went overboard to make sure this project was successful. I am a football guy, but this weight room will be so helpful to every sport and overall for the whole school here at Florala. These students can choose to do something they don’t need to do or go work out, and now they have a nice facility to come and do just that,” he said.

FHS head football coach and athletic director Jordan Cantrell said the school and its athletes were excited about the updated facility.

“Our students are excited to come to school every day and work in the classroom as well as participate in extracurricular activities. Playing sports really molded me as a person, and I have seen in the two years I have been here how our community works hard. All of our students’ hard work shows in the classroom and also at activities as well as the sports fields. We have a really good thing going on here at Florala High School,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell met with principal Carie Turman and outlined a vision the school had for the facility.

“As a principal, she has a lot of things on her list. We appreciate her putting our kids first and helping get this project completed. Anywhere from 40 to 50 athletes in any of our sports are up here on any given summer day. Mrs. Turman knew we needed a better facility, and from the racks to the flooring and painting, everything is unbelievable. I also would like to thank superintendent Mr. Shannon Driver and all of our board members for helping with this effort. We have a Florala Wildcat Foundation who gathered up funds and were led by Kevin Goolsby and Marvin Williford. Whether you gave a large amount or small, we are grateful to all those who helped fund this weight room. Demetrius and Candace have been really instrumental, and he gave back in more ways than one by caring about others and working hard. He left a legacy as a Wildcat and wanted to do something special for our current and future Wildcats,” Cantrell added.

Turman stated the school was thrilled to reveal the weight room to the students.

“This will reach many student athletes and provide a safe inviting environment to motivate our students to reach their fullest potential. Florala High School has had a long and successful history athletically, and we are excited to have alumni play such an integral part in this project. Demetrius Henderson has been wonderful to work with on this project. His work is amazing. Thank you to Mr. Driver and the board for all their support,” Turman said. “Our coaches have also put hours of hard work into this project. Coach Cantrell, Coach Daniel Green, Coach David Bass, and many others have poured their efforts into making this dream come true. Go Wildcats!”

Driver referred to the remodeled weight room as an enhancement for everyone at the school.

“I was excited to see the weight room renovation at Florala High School. There has been some major work done to make it what it is today. I appreciate the involvement of the Florala High School staff and community members who made this accomplishment possible. I also thank our school board members for their support of this project that will enhance the athletic programs that take advantage of this facility. The new equipment, flooring, and visual enhancements have made this weight room a place that the athletes and coaches can take pride in. Thanks to everyone who played a part to make this project possible,” Driver said.

For more information call the Florala High School office at 334-658-8159 or visit the school’s Facebook page.