BY BRANDON SPECK
Ray Williams is pulling double duty and is quickly proving he is strong enough to pull the extra weight.
The Itawamba CC defensive line and strength and conditioning coach picked up a new hobby in September: powerlifting. Three meets later, he owns two unofficial world records.
His interest came from watching his brother place at a meet in Mobile, Ala.
“That kind of got me interested to test the waters out a little bit,” Williams said.
He is more invested than interested now. At the USAPL National Raw Powerlifting Championship last weekend Orlando, Williams set an 882-pound squat record, as well as a total lift record of 2,134 pounds.
He already owned the squat record, which he set at 860 pounds in his first-ever meet in Mobile.
Williams was admittedly a little surprised at his immediate success in Florida.
“There are some freaks of nature there, especially super heavyweights,” Williams said, “guys that lift 800, 900 pounds on a weekly basis. I was real nervous at first.”
His nerves eased quickly and he has received congratulatory texts from WWE wrestler Mark Henry, as well as from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He deadlifted 750 pounds in Orlando. That world record is held by Henry at 903.
RAW meets in the United States don’t allow the use of lifting suits. Lifters are allowed only a wrestling singlet, International Power- lifting Federation approved knee sleeves and a belt.
Williams, an All-American defensive lineman at Tennessee-Martin, already has his next goal in sight. And it’s a big one. He plans to lift in the World Competition next summer in Kazakhstan, Russia.
To do that, he needs sponsors to help foot the estimated $3,000 bill. Anyone interested can find out more by visiting his coach’s bio at LetsGoICC.com.
He hopes to be tossing around 900 pounds comfortably by his next meet in December in Hattiesburg.
“After that, my second long-term goal would definitely be to compete and win world,” he said.