Senior Makel Henderson practices squats at powerlifting for upcoming meets. (Photo by Israel Arias)
Senior Makel Henderson practices squats at powerlifting for upcoming meets.

Photo by Israel Arias

A new weight on their shoulders

Powerlifting took on first meet Saturday showing glowing prospects

January 29, 2015

With their legs bent, feet digging into the ground and beads of sweat trickling down their brows, they stand. They also just happen to be lifting weights with extreme proportions to their bodies over their heads while maintaining perfect form.

The school’s powerlifting team’s season officially started last Saturday, Jan. 24 at their first meet of the year in Sulphur Springs.

“None of us were expecting it, but the boys came in second as a team, which made me really proud,” senior Paxton Venable said. “I lifted well enough to get ranked first in the region and in the top 20 for the state [in the girls’ division.]”

Individual achievements include Will Brown with first place, Matt Davis with second place and Nick Runnels with fourth place.

“It felt really good getting first because coming into this I wasn’t as prepared seeing as I missed a few practices due to track,” senior Will Brown said. “I also found out that I am fourth in the region, so that will push me even harder to practice and go to meets to compete because I think I can get first if I put the time in.”

The competitors earned their awards by competing with three lifts– all of which require an abundance of precision.

“The competitions are split up into weight classes so you compete with people close to your size,” junior Matt Davis said. “During the meet you’ll do three reps each of squat, deadlift and bench press. And whoever has the highest total wins the weight class. There are so many rules like when you can lift, how you can move your feet, when to rack the weight and stuff like that.”

The scoring is calculated by a three-judge system, each of which are watching for even the most minute of errors.

“There’s one judge on each side of you and one in front of you, and they judge you on your form and the depth of your squat,” Venable said. “They judge you for the tiniest things, like if your feet move on the bench squat or if your knees lock right in deadlift. It has to be a pretty lift or it doesn’t count.”

Despite the high rankings the team earned in the meet, they have not started the season without struggles.

“Our powerlifting coach, Coach Bryant, left at semester, so two other coaches had to step up and lead the team,” Davis said. “We also barely have any experience at all. We have so many guys that have no clue what they are doing, but they are strong so we have a chance to do well.”

Even with the lack of experience exhibited by most of the members, the powerlifting team’s head coach, Coach Cody Spencer, remains optimistic about the possibilities the season holds.

“We look forward to having a good year,” Spencer said. “We have some young guys that should be able to help us, and I look forward to watching them compete further.”

The other more experienced team members are also anticipating growth and success from their younger, newer teammates.

“We’re a young team, and we’re starting over,” Venable said. “They have so much potential, so I can see them at the end of the season doing really well. At the beginning, I’m sure we’ll have a rough start, but they kick into it. There’s just so much potential there. When they get older, they’ll be so good.”

Not only are the new lifters expected to increase their ability by the end of the season, but students are also certain that, collectively, the team will only get better judging from their first meet.

“I feel confident about the powerlifting team as a whole because overall at the meet we came in second,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to going to the Chapel Hill meet in a couple of weeks and taking home the gold.”

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