Elmore County wins fourth straight weightlifting titlePublished 6:00am Sunday, April 21, 2013
The weight room inside the Elmore County High fieldhouse has become a power plant as the Panthers pumped out their four straight 4A state weightlifting championship.
“I think what this really reflects is the commitment of the athletes and their commitment to this program,” said Danny Carpenter, Panthers strength and conditioning coach for the past eight years. “I’ve got kids that have grown up in this program. This year, most of them increased in their total lifts.”
The competition was held over the weekend at Enterprise High and featured nearly 500 students from throughout the state.
“It feels great to be a part of this,” said Rollie Orr, a sophomore Panther lifter. “I went up on all of my lifts: squats, bench and powerclean. The powerclean was the toughest.”
The team is comprised of: Joseph Barron, Sergio Birmingham, Corey Boothe, Jack Chambliss, Eddie Cooper,Theron Green, Zay Head, Rollie Orr, Andrew Palmer, Matthew Palmer, Jaden Randle, Tristan Rawls, Aaron Smith, Chase Thomas, Jesse Weeks, David Wood, Dillon George, Damon Rowe and Matthew Thomas.
The championship was Elmore County High’s fourth in four years and their sixth in the last nine.
“If you count what our girls have done, we have won 9 out of the last 9 years,” said Carpenter. “When Coach (Jim) Adams was the coach, he won three straight. So this gives us 12 championships.”
Carpenter highlighted the work of a handful of Panthers: Eddie Cooper, Theron Grenn and Damon Rowe.
Rowe has been part of each of the four championship teams.
“I’m coming back to win state at 232 (pounds),” said Panthers junior Aaron Smith. “This has helped me getter better on the football field. I can use my full body strength to block and push people around.”
Since its inception, the program has not only strengthened Panthers athletics, it’s also helped reduce the number of injuries sustained throughout a season.
“And if the students do suffer an injury, their recovery time is shortened because of the shape they are in, thanks to this program.”