XENIA — As Edna Adams slowly walked into the fitness center that bears her son’s name, the nearly 100 Xenia High School student athletes who were on hand to workout suddenly fell into silence.
The athletes cleared a center path to allow Adams and her attorney, former Xenia swimming standout Peter Stephan, to walk to the front of the room. The respect the students and their coaches had for this small lady was very evident.
Adams was invited to come see the latest improvements that had been made to the Doug Adams Fitness Facility, which is located on the Xenia High School campus where her son attended school. The students were tipped off to her arrival and so plans were made to get a group picture of the athletes with the woman who helped create the Doug Adams Trust Fund, for which much — if not all — of the fitness center’s improvements had been made.
According to the school, the Adams Trust is currently valued at $1.9 million. All money from the trust is dedicated to capital improvements for Xenia High’s sports facilities.
The recent funding for recent improvements made to Cox Stadium, where the Buccaneers play their Division I high school football games, came from the Adams Fund.
A new practice field camera, complete with a nearly three-story high tripod, was purchased this past Fall thanks to the Adams Fund, and the new Vertimax exercise system, which was introduced to the weight training facility this school year, was also purchased from the fund.
A student brought over a comfortable folding chair for Adams to sit on as she watched the students go through their workout routines. She smiled and gladly took a seat.
“This is wonderful. When my husband, Armic, and I talked about doing this, I had no idea it was going to be as nice as this,” Adams said.
Armic passed away in 2010, but as his health began to fail, he and Edna began to set into place the plans of establishing a trust fund in honor of their son, Doug.
Doug Adams was killed in 1997 when he was hit by a car while bike riding. He played football at Xenia High in the mid-1960s. He went on to play on Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes’ 1968 national championship team, then was drafted by the Denver Broncos before playing his way onto the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League.
Matt Purdy, president of The Equipment Guys, a fitness equipment company based out of Columbus, said the Xenia fitness facility rivals many college-level training rooms. He said his company is getting ready to install a similar facility for a major Division I hockey program.
“It’s a state-of-the-art facility. It’s what you’d find at many colleges. A place like The Ohio State University may have more equipment, but you won’t find anything better than what Xenia has right here,” Purdy said. “A lot of the equipment that we installed here four years ago, it still looks as new as when we first put it in. I think that speaks to the pride and the care that the students put forth toward taking care of the equipment. That’s a good sign. This is first class, all the way through. It’s something that can be a rallying point for this community, and it seems like it already is.”
Purdy couldn’t provide an exact monetary amount of all the fitness equipment in the Adams Center, but did say the equipment’s value would “easily be in six figures.”
Edna Adams was presented with a bouquet of flowers, and she seemed to enjoy having her picture taken with the students.
“I know that our son, Doug, would’ve been really pleased. He was all in it for sports, you know. And so I think we did what we tried to do. It’s what we thought he would do for the school,” Adams said. “He would’ve been very proud.”