By Brandon Speck
Calhoun City powerlifting coach Perry Liles is trying to lead his Class I girls team to a third straight MHSAA state powerlifting team championship.
But as usual, Liles has double duty. He’s also the meet director.
“It’s always challenging, but we have great help in that,” Liles said. “I have an assistant meet director. I handle some problems, but usually the meet itself is run all by the workers.”
Inside Jackson’s Mississippi Coliseum, designated winning North and South schools run the individual platforms and there are some 30 officials judging. Weigh-in is tonight. Doors open Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Lifting begins at 8:15.
Calhoun City is young, but junior Courtney Norman is defending her gold medal at 220 pounds.
Norman has a good chance to do so. The Wildcats’ team win will depend on a lot of youth, including seventh graders in Mary Mason Langford and Perry Beth Liles and eighth grader Landyn Stoddard.
“I think we’ll have a chance to win,” Liles said.
Five area lifters are among the Elite 11 – Pontotoc’s Molly Sorto and Rockell Harris, Itawamba’s Qualeah Ezell, Nettleton’s Harley Tucker and Lafayette’s Shawnda Pettis.
Among the boys’ Super 12, a trio from Pontotoc, Patrick Newell, Colton Bramlett and Bailey Wray, and Tishomingo County’s Joseph Flanigan.
Class 1A Falkner has six lifters making the trip today. Sophomore Dillon Davis has a solid chance to win the 308-pound class. He set every record in the North meet. Davis finished second last season.
“If he does what he’s done in North Half, he’ll win it,” Falkner coach Cory Armstrong said.
Teammates Cody Bates (132) and Omar Madrigal (114) also have good shots to leave with gold medals.
The Journal coverage area had three team winners last year: Calhoun City girls, East Union boys in Class 2A and Oxford boys in Class 5A.