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Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — The first BX training sessions are complete, and BX Strength & Speed founder Rob Baxter is gearing up for a pair of winter sessions here at the Waverly Sports Complex.

“We just finished up our seventh and final week of the fall training camp. We’ve been in here two nights a week, running three groups a night,” he said. “We had 24 athletes in here … ideally, I think we’ll get to three sessions of 12, so 36 kids in all.

“Our fall session was a success, and we’re looking forward to the winter sessions,” noted Baxter.

“We’re getting ready to fire up our winter program,” he added. “A lot of these kids are moving on to basketball, so we’ll see them in the spring, or a little sporadically during the winter.”

The first winter session will run from Nov. 13 through Jan. 13 (no workouts from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The second session will run from Jan. 16 through March 9 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The cost is $400 for each eight-week session. Those interested in registering for one, or both of the winter sessions can e-mail Baxter at:

“We’re trying to build some more familiarity and some more buzz around our program,” said Baxter.

“We’ve received great feedback so far,” he added. “I think the kids and families are excited to have us. We’re excited to be here.”

Baxter’s first group at the Waverly Sports Complex included a pair of Waverly football standouts in juniors Xavier Watson and Kolsen Keathley. And, Baxter’s connections in the sports world are already helping Watson.

“What’s happened with Xavier (Watson) is really, really cool.

“I didn’t know any of the kids from the Valley coming into this,” noted Baxter. “When Xavier joined the group, I could quickly see at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds that he had quite a bit of natural talent. And, I quickly found out he has a great work ethic … he was accountable, and he wants to be good.

“The week before I took him to West Point, we clocked him running at 21 miles per hour … 20 miles per hour is a nice bench mark for guys to be labeled as fast,” continued Baxter. “At 6-4, 205 pounds, and 16 years old to put up a number like that, within a week he has a scholarship offer.

“Obviously it’s the same kid, he has the talent, and the drive, but if nobody knows about him ... ” he said. “I think that’s a unique story of him being with us for seven weeks, and now he’s getting some looks.

“And (Kolsen) Keathley comes in, and he doesn’t have quite the size, but he’s very athletic, and fast,” added Baxter. “It’s been fun for me to meet some new guys who just walked through the door, and have this great upside.”

Watson has long been a fan of Baxter’s work, and BX locating in Waverly was a perfect fit.

“I had heard about Rob (Baxter) and BX for about a year, but with it being it Binghamton it was just too far away,” he said. “When he set up in Waverly, I was on it immediately.

“When I’m here, it’s straight to work, and everything we do makes me better,” noted Watson. “The atmosphere is great, all the guys here competing, and pumping each other up … we’re getting better every day.

“The training we do here is specifically for sports, and getting faster, getting stronger, more athletic, and making you better,” he added.

Watson has already seen the results.

“A week after I started here, (Rob) startied making connections, and I started making visits to D-I colleges,” he said.

Watson has visited Army, West Virginia, and Albany, and has received offers from Army and Bethune-Cookman

Waverly’s Garrin Dougherty, a senior at Notre Dame, has also watched Baxter from afar, and is pleased he’s in Waverly now.

“Over social media, I’ve seen Rob training with really good athletes. I saw a lot of lacrosse players going Division I, including Peep Williams going to Stanford,” he said. “I saw the atmosphere, the togetherness of his program, his knowledge, and the people who come here are successful.”

Dougherty said he’s already seen the results of the BX training.

“It’s been insane, the changes I’ve seen,” said Dougherty. “I can jump higher, I’m stronger, I can run faster. and I’m more athletic. It transfers over to my game, and it makes my game so much better. It’s been amazing.

“I come in here and see guys like Xavier (Watson) and Kolsen (Keathley), and I compete every day,” he added.

Dougherty will play college lacrosse at St. John Fisher next year, after finishing his high school playing days this spring.

“Transferring to a bigger school is definitely a possibility, but right now I’m focusing on how I can be a better player today,” said Dougherty.

“I was a bit under-recruited, and was a late commit.,” he noted. “Right now, I’m working hard and looking to prove something.

“I’m looking forward to St. John Fisher,” he added.

Johnson City basketball standout Marissa Smith, who will play at Division I Binghamton next year, has been with BX since the seventh grade.

“Rob has done so much for my development,” she said. “Being a tall player, I’ve had to learn how to grow into my body, and add muscle. He’s helped me a lot with that.

“Speed is definitely a big pat of basketball. He’s helped me get a lot faster and stronger, and be a good post player,” noted Smith.

“He’s also helped me out a lot mentally,” Smith added. “He makes everyone feel included, and makes sure everyone knows they can get better. It’s been really important for me.

BX is not all about working with juniors and seniors.

Matt Lambert said BX has been a positive experience for his 13-year-old son Brody, who is a 7th-grader at Waverly.

“It’s been amazing for him,” said Lambert. “He gets great workouts, like nothing he could get anywhere else.

“It’s been a change for him … we’ve already seen an improvement in him in his speed and strength,” he noted. “It’s been amazing to see the transformation and growth.

“It’s definitely been a confidence-builder for him, especially working out with the older kids. To work out with the kids at the varsity level is great for him, and they are great with him; and Rob Baxter is great with the kids.

“It’s a strength development program, but it’s not hurting him,” added Lambert. “It’s good for his development, I don’t want him lifting heavy weights at his age. It’s perfect for him.”


IN PHOTO 1: Waverly’s Xavier Watson. IN PHOTO 2: Waverly’s Kolsen Keathley. … IN PHOTO 3: Johnson City’s Marissa Smith. IN PHOTO 4: Notre Dame’s Garrin Dougherty.

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