Powerlifting pays off for Skaneateles Lakers

A couple of years ago, Nick Fedchenko currently the SCS Varsity Football Assistant Coach and weight room coach at the high school, was sitting around in his wheel chair feeling all sorry for himself. Having served in the U.S. Army's Fifth Special Forces Group during the Gulf War he had returned home disabled, the result of chemical fallout from an explosion which has made him dependent on daily pain medicines to this day.

"My wife Amy offered the suggestion that I go back to weightlifting," said Fedchenko, a two-time National Powerlifting champion. "Prior to my military career, which began in 1989 in Panama and continued into the Kuwait conflict, I had coached varsity baseball and football in Flint, Michigan.

"I had also been a power lifter since high school, but when I came home from the war in 1993, I pretty much thought my coaching career was over."

Fedchenko credits his wife for initially getting him out of the chair and the Special Forces for getting him to point in life which now includes walking albeit with a gait that is slower than he wishes.

"Special Forces prepared me for the "never give up" attitude which I needed," said Fedchenko, who,along with Coach John King, developed a core of exercises resulting in a program that is helping the students at SCS in more ways than just gaining in girth.

"Nick has a way of reaching the kids on a level that I don't often see with other coaches," comments Stacy Patalino, SCS athletic trainer at the high school.

"It's just a very unique ability he uses whether it is for a male or female student. And of course, he brings a love and passion for football, too."

SCS Athletic Director Rick Pound agrees with Patalino adding, "He has an old school mentality. There is nothing fancy about what he does. It's just a hard work ethic coupled with strong fundamentals."

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