By: Nan Buti
The Oak Grove powerlifting teams have proven to not only represent themselves as true warriors with leadership and brainpower, but also have shown their strength both physically and mentally. Under the coaching of Tony Myers, Knute Douglas, and Chris Tran, the boys’ powerlifting team once again placed first at state. Coaches Amanda Micka, John Micka, and Jeff Douglas led the girls’ team to State with Kim Franklin placing third and Christie Stricker placing first in their weight classes. Both teams competed at the MHSAA Class 6A State Championship on April 13 in Jackson.
The boys’ team successfully placed first with 39 points, maintaining their winning streak from last year. Boys’ team lifters who placed at state were Antonio Mikell, Alex Smith, Devonte Durr, Mikal Bilal, Dante Pittman, Trevor Neeley, and John Pride. “Everyone worked really hard and stayed dedicated from late November until April. They always kept their eye on the prize,” junior member Mauricio Hernandez said. In fact, the boys’ team consecutively placed first in every competition leading up to state, including Regionals and South State.
The girls’ team of just 11 overcame competitive teams, winning third at Regionals, second at South State, and fourth at State. “This is only my second year on the team, but all of the veterans have gotten so much stronger. We’ve actually started breaking each other’s records, which gives a healthy sense of competition to the team. All of the girls who just completed their first year on the team have come so far in just one year. I look forward to seeing how great they’re going to be next year,” junior Anna Catherine Colbert said. With a loss of seniors on both teams, Douglas feels the upcoming members will exceed their previous successes. “There are many new team members this year, and I expect next year’s team will be very well-rounded,” Douglas said.
Colbert and other team members are very thankful for their coaches dedication. “I’d like to thank coaches Amanda, John, and Jeff for so willingly donating their time, wisdom, and resources to the OG Girls’ Powerlifting team. There’s no possible way we could have gotten this far or even have known about powerlifting without them,” Colbert said.
Both Oak Grove teams have seen every member breaking personal records.