Celebrating the past and present in powerlifting

New Albany’s success this school year has now stretched through several sports, with powerlifting joining the elite ranks this week.
I traveled to Fulton for the ‘Dawgs division meet this past Monday, and it’s a trip I enjoy to make, as I spent two years there as a student at ICC. During that span, I had the privilege of taking a class under a teacher who, as I would later learn, had a valuable impact on the sport of powerlifting during his tenure at Pontotoc.
If there are any readers in Pontotoc County, I’m sure they are nodding their heads at this point, as they know I am talking about none other than the late Kenneth Nowicki.
Coach Kno, as we called him, was my physical science teacher at ICC, and, no surprise, I was often the subject of many of his jokes and class demonstrations. His claim to fame, as he would tell us, was that he could take kids my size and make them into champion powerlifters. And he wasn’t lying.
When Coach Kno was at Pontotoc, he led the powerlifters to State, National and Junior Olympic championships, putting the town on the map in the sport.
Nowicki left Pontotoc to begin teaching at ICC, where he worked until he passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly last year.
Like many of his former students, I was in shock that such a healthy, physically active man of his age could pass away so suddenly. Above all, he was one of nicest people I had ever met, and based on the turnout at his funeral, I was not alone on that assessment.
Every time I think of powerlifting or attend a meet, as this past Monday was my second to see in person, I have to take a moment and remember the man who made the sport popular in this area.
I know Pontotoc is currently a division opponent of the Bulldogs, but you can’t help but appreciate what the man did for the sport.
New Albany finished first, defeating Pontotoc by seven points in the overall standings to claim their first ever division title in powerlifting. This is a great feat for the Bulldogs, as they will now prepare for the North Half and potentially the State Championships in March and April.
The Lady Bulldogs are also preparing for their next match, as they will compete for North Half on March 3.
New Albany has now won four division titles this year (football, boys basketball, girls basketball and powerlifting), and should be commended on the outstanding job they have done so far this year.
Hopefully the school will achieve even more success and add to their accomplishments this year.