students set state record

Five of our Blue Devil powerlifters set state records at the competition held in Jackson on April 1-2, 2022. Seventh grader Payton Darby set a record by bench pressing 65 pounds in the 97-pound weight class. Senior Jumiah Jones, 123 pound weight class,  set records in squat (240 pounds), deadlift (285 pounds), and overall total (615 pounds). Maggie Ward, a junior in the 148 weight class, set a record with a 125 bench press. Squatting 280 pounds, Chloe Burrowes set the record in the 181 weight class. With an impressive 365 bench press, sophomore Shaun Campbell set the record in the 220 pound weight class. 

In the spring of 2017, Coach Vaughn Daniels challenged his 10th grade World History class to try out for the new powerlifting program and offered extra credit for doing so.  That year, he carried three boys and one girl (all 10th graders) to state competition. The only girl to attend that inaugural season was Larkin Gardiner. She recently said, "I think we got something better than the extra credit (that we never got) in the long run." When Coach Daniels was asked about the infamous extra credit, he replied, "If they only knew I received the extra credit by getting the chance to coach each of them."

The powerlifting program has grown over the years with many more athletes competing and placing. 2019 WVHS graduate Marley Cook held records for two separate weight classes, the 275 pound weight class and the 308 pound weight class. The bench press record broken by Cook in 2019 was previously held by WVHS 2018 graduate Marcus Burt. In 2021, the powerlifting program achieved a milestone for the girls sports with Sara Ellis Dean becoming the first female medalist in the program's history.

In the course of the program’s short existence, the boys powerlifting team finished as follows: District champions (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022), North Half Runner-ups (2021, 2022), and State Runner-ups (2021). The girls' powerlifting team finished as follows: District Champions (2018, 2022), North Half Champs (2022), and State runner up (2022). The program has multiple state champions: Chloe Burrowes, Jumiah Jones, Marcus Burt, Marley Cook (2X), Kenterrious Rucker, Javarius Benson, Chris Harris, Shaun Campbell (2X), and Marquis Cook.

Coach Daniels stated, “The program has surely blossomed in its short existence, and to add to its achievements, three of this year's seniors were awarded with the opportunity to continue their education by receiving offers from Blue Mountain College.”

The boys and girls powerlifting teams are Coached by Vaughn Daniels and Avery Norris.