If you ever played sports in high school you know how hard it is to win a state title. Winning two state titles—back to back? Even harder.
"It means a lot, because this year I'm actually two timing this year and it means a lot to have all your hard work and dedication and to actually come out on top, “ said Ansley Pollard a member of the team and state champion power lifter
Another team member, Justin Beals said, "I mean you got to put in a lot of hard work and you got to be pretty dedicated to it. I couldn't have done it without my teammates and coaches of course.
Ansley and Justin are just two of the individual winners on this Panther team—in all the school had six lifters win state titles. While weightlifting may physically be a one person sport, the athletes don’t underestimate the importance of having your teammates to push you.
Harden Cook, Destiny Bryant and Walker Gill all gave examples of how the athletes are like a family cheering each other on in practice and during competition.
Most of the students on the team are multi sport athletes, usually receiving a little more recognition for what they do on the field or court. So bringing home the weightlifting trophy makes this victory even sweeter.
"It just gives them a little fruits of the labor that they've been putting in all year. It's an opportunity for them to go and compete against other schools and other students that are doing the same thing,” said head coach Donny Gillilan.
Coach also went onto say his team is returning several of the athletes next year, meaning the Panthers have a strong chance of a rare three peat in state competition.