Natchez High powerlifters win South State meet

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 12, 2008

NATCHEZ — With the South State meet out of the way, the Natchez High powerlifting team is looking forward to bringing home the state championship trophy when the State meet rolls around in less than a month.

The Bulldogs overpowered the competition at the Class 5A South State meet at Hattiesburg High School last weekend, taking 56 total points to run away with the victory.

Hattiesburg and Gulfport finished a very distant second with 28 points each while Meridian was fourth with 23 points.

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In addition, nine individual lifters advanced to compete in the State meet, which will take place Saturday, April 5 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

“Those nine performed to the top (in the South State meet),” Natchez powerlifting coach Joseph Johnson said. “I was so happy I was jumping up and down during the meet. They were just in the zone. They stayed focused and did what they had to do.”

Five Natchez High lifters took first place in their respective weight classes.

Roderick Allen was first in the 132-pound class while Callon Green won the 181-pound class and Johnny Griffin took first in the 220-pound class.

Danny Thompson and Keith Dee also took first place in their classes, winning the 275 and 308 weight classes, respectively.

Other lifters that qualified for the State meet are Xavier Hill in the 114-pound weight class, Willie Newman in the 148-pound class, Jarrett Ealey in the 165-pound class and Jeremy Hammond in the 181-pound class.

Johnson said he was looking forward to a strong showing at the State meet in Jackson.

We took 10 lifters to the meet last year and we’re taking nine this year,” he said. “I think that these nine are better than last year’s 10. I’m looking forward to a great meet.”

Johnson also said he was happy the event was at the Mississippi Coliseum this year and not at one of the high schools competing in the event.

“This is the first year it’s been at the Mississippi Coliseum,” Johnson said. “I’ve always felt the meet should be at a neutral site and now I get my wish.”

While the Bulldogs have already captured their region and South State championships, there is one more goal that the team wants to accomplish,” Johnson said.

“We’re looking forward to bring it home,” he said. “We want to win the state championship.”