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Around Campus: Coach Kenney Motivates Student Athletes

Around Campus: Coach Kenney Motivates Student Athletes

* As seen in the December 2023 edition of the Bagpiper. Written by Brielle Rebello '24. Photos by Alexander Duros '24.

Every afternoon like clockwork, Coach McKenney Stuppard, now in his second year as a Scot, arrives on campus, ready to transform the weight room into a hub of success for Saint Andrew’s athletes.

Coach Stuppard, also known as Coach Kenney, plays a major role in the lives of student-athletes and sports teams as a strength and conditioning coach.

“I have a deep passion for training kids and working with kids, and Saint Andrew’s definitely has some amazing young kids that attend here,” Coach Kenney said.

This passion for training that brought Coach Kenney to Saint Andrew’s started when he was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing football, basketball, and running track and field. Because he thrived in the competitive sports team environment, he participated in almost every sport he could get his hands on and trained others along the way.

“I was always the one who trained everyone. My coaches always left that responsibility to me to run the weight rooms,” Coach Kenney said.

His innate love for uniting people together to pursue shared goals provided him with a strong foundation as an effective coach for the sports teams that train with him here.

In his role, he recognizes the areas in which student-athletes need to grow and offers them effective strategies to do so.

“I like how Coach Kenny asks for feedback and what our individual goals are before assigning us a workout. He really cares about helping his players complete their individual goals and tailors his workouts for each individual player,” said senior Morgan Mattson, a captain of the Varsity Girls’ Volleyball team.

In addition to being a focused, professional coach and trainer, Coach Kenney is a trusted, approachable mentor to many of the student-athletes.

“He's younger so you can definitely be more personal with him, and it is easy to get along with him well,” said senior Jackson Parke, a captain of the Varsity Boys’ Football team.

The football team, District Champions holding a 9-2 record, attributes part of their success to Coach Kenney's presence in the weight room.

“We have gotten stronger and faster as the year has gone on. We always try to take advantage of opportunities to lift in the weight room,” said Parke.

Similarly, the volleyball team attributes their endurance to the time spent in the weight room.

“In five set games, which can be three-plus hours, I am able to take over 70 swings a game and not experience any sort of pain in my shoulder or arms which I extensively use,” Mattson said.

It's not just the volleyball and football teams putting in the hard work and securing victories this school year. Other athletes and teams have been in the weight room such as soccer players, lacrosse players, cheerleaders, and most notably, swimmers.

“I would say here at Saint Andrew’s, our swimmers probably train the most frequently. They pretty much train year-round, both in the pool and in the weight room,” Coach Kenney said.

Coach Kenney’s presence has made a positive impact as a trainer and colleague at Saint Andrew’s. According to Athletic Director Scott Williams, “The strength and conditioning program may be the most important thing that we have for athletes here at SA, and we did not have a program quite like it until Coach Kenney got here.”

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