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Be sure to check into CrossFit Federal Hill or CrossFit Harbor East on FaceBook every time you come to the gym during the month of February. For every check in, CFH and CFHE will donate $0.25 to BARCS. Both gyms have voted for this charity so all of our money will go towards helping the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Read more about their cause here!
Harbor East’s Coach Carey competed in the Baltimore Open this past weekend and hit a competition Clean and Jerk PR at 231#! Her total of 188kg was also a competition PR total, her best comp total prior to that being 182kg in September. Her best total ever in training is 190kg! Congrats Carey, we’re lucky to have such a strong athlete on our team!
Ben Eaton is one of our inspiring members at CrossFit Federal Hill. He is a football coach at Gilman and St. Frances. Take some time to read about his story and about the story of the kids he is inspiring to better themselves. Two of those very students will be joining us here at CFH to train to keep up, and hopefully, improve their fitness during the off season. Familiarize yourself with their story and make them feel welcome when you see them around the gym!
Coaching is my passion. Coaching has changed my life. My father was a coach and the people who have impacted my life the most have been coaches. There’s an inherent power, authority and influence a coach carries when in the presence of his athletes. There is also a heavy burden and responsibility. Coaching can be transactional and self-serving, or it can be transformational and selfless. Throughout my life and athletic career I encountered men that lived their lives as the latter.
Upon graduation and the conclusion of my athletic career, I had the fortune to return home (to employment!) and the opportunity to volunteer as a coach at my alma mater, Gilman School, as an assistant coach with the varsity football team. During my time at Gilman, I had the opportunity to learn and grow under two of the most influential and respected coaches in high school football; Biff Poggi and Joe Erhmann. We won many games and championships; however, it was the lessons we learned off the field that made us successful. Coach Poggi and Coach Erhmann challenged us to question our views on “masculinity” and “what it meant to be a man”. We were charged with being men who valued and sought substantive relationships and to live our lives to serve others. Their story and method has been published Season of Life: A Football Star, a boy, a journey to manhood by Jeffrey Marx and has been a New York Times Best Seller. Nevertheless, when I returned home post grad they were still present, coaching the same as when I left for college 4 years prior.
Today, the mission is the same but at a new location, St Frances Academy. St Frances is located in the heart of downtown Baltimore in the shadow of the city’s jail. Despite the location, St Frances carries a rich tradition as the oldest continuously operating, predominately African-American Catholic High School in the world, with it’s origins dating back to 1828 – with a primary mission of serving disenfranchised young people – the enslaved, the orphaned, the segregated and the poor. Gilman School is on the opposite end of the spectrum with endowment assets worth $62 million and a yearly tuition price of $26,000 a year. The coaching staff at Gilman, including myself, decided to bring our resources and relationships to St Frances to use the vehicle of football to influence and change the lives of the student-athletes at St Frances Academy in 2016.
We’ve been fortunate to realize great success in our first two years, winning the league championship back-to-back seasons and most recently finishing as the third ranked team in the nation according to USA Today. With that said, the most rewarding accomplishment as a staff is seeing our student-athlete’s capitalize on the opportunity and exposure to open doors to improve their lives. In 2016 the St Frances football team had 11 seniors graduate to continue their academic and athletic career in college, the current senior class is set to break that mark with 14 this season.
Shane Lee and Joachim Bangda are two student athletes who will continue this trend at St Frances. Both young men are current juniors who have excelled on and off the field.
Shane maintains a + 3.5 GPA and is widely considered the top middle linebacker prospect in the country. Shane holds 20+ scholarship offers from programs including Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame, Clemson and Maryland amongst others
Joachim maintains a + 3.5 GPA and is considered one of the nation’s best running back prospects with scholarship offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan State, UCLA and Wisconsin amongst others.
Shane and Joe are tireless workers and are consistently searching for ways to improve themselves both academically and athletically. With the hopes of better preparing themselves for next season, they approached me with the idea of training together. My immediate thoughts turned to CrossFit Federal Hill. Shane and Joe will be joining our community and I cannot wait to have them learn from our knowledgeable coaches, be pushed by our community and improve as athletes!
Written By: Benjamin Eaton
CFH is closed today for the Battle of Baltimore! Head over to CrossFit Harbor East to workout and then come support your fellow athletes at CrossFit Federal Hill!