Mark Deppen has spent more than 20 years as the strength & conditioning coach at Donovan Catholic High School where he’s also in charge of the Griffins powerlifting team.  His weight room was located basically in a basement, had no windows and not much of anything else.

That’s all changed with Monday’s dedication of the school’s new Athletic Training Facility which is just a couple of hundred yards south of the football field on Lexington Avenue.

Father Scott Shaffer and Principal Dr. Edward Gere were joined by Bishop David O’Connell who blessed the state of the art facility and spoke glowingly about the school and parish, which is the largest in the Diocese of Trenton.  He kidded about wearing a Donovan Catholic tee shirt and being stopped at a food store in Point Pleasant and asked if he had a child at the school. His response was, "I have hundreds of them."

Toms River Mayor Mo Hill helped cut the ribbon which officially opened the facility. Hill’s three daughters graduated from the high school and he has a grandson who is a freshman and playing football for the Griffins.

Dr. Gere and Father Scott thanked those who helped make the Athletic Training Facility a reality, singling out the Vetter Family who owns Burger 25 and the Kyriakoulis Family, owners of Interface Tile and Flooring for their generosity.  Both have sons who are student-athletes at the school and will benefit from the new facility.

Deppen was clearly thrilled to have a new place which students and athletes can use during the school day for strength and conditioning classes and then after school the various athletic teams will be in the facility for training associated with their sports.

He’s just as thrilled to have an office with a window and plenty of space to work with.