By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
East Union has four seniors on its powerlifting team, all ready to go out on top.
The Urchins won Class 2A North and Saturday will try to bring home their first state championship at the MHSAA championship meet in Jackson. The meet starts at 8:15 a.m. at Mississippi Coliseum.
East Union coach Scott Duley says his team’s focus on a team title motivates them individually as well.
“With these guys, we’ve got a chance. In any sport, especially in powerlifting, you need seniors,” Duley said. “The work they’ve put in from North (state) to now is really, really impressive.”
Grant Keller (308-pound class), Nicky Greszler (275), Nathan Reed (242) and Dustin Pratt (198, but trying to bump up a class) make up those seniors. The team beat another favorite, Calhoun City, three times this season, once by a single point. Both are sending eight to state.
Reed is part of that progress since North state a month ago. He squatted 585 there and had a recent 625 in the weight room.
Pontotoc’s Bailey Wray has a chance to tear the record book open Saturday. Wray is one of two Warriors lifters on the Super 12 and by far the heaviest lifter, totaling 1,855 pounds at the North qualifier. That total includes a 750-pound squat and 705-pound dead lift.
“I don’t know if there is anybody who works as hard as that kid does,” Pontotoc coach Mickey Mapp said. “He eats, breathes and sleeps powerlifting.
“At North (State), he was on. He got every one of his lifts.”
Pontotoc could realistically walk away with five individual state champions, including Elite 11 female lifters Molly Sorto, from the 123-pound class and Monique Loftis in the 97-pound class.
Colton Bramlett, also a Super 12 member from the 198-pound class, has a chance to walk away with gold.
“He’s been phenomenal all year himself,” Mapp said. “I look for him to garnish first place, and Joe Hall, our lone senior, to have a good meet. I’m pretty excited about Saturday.”