State champs: LaGrange powerlifting team shows out at first meet

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, January 10, 2024

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The inaugural LaGrange High powerlifting team is already making waves. The Grangers traveled to Alpharetta on Sunday for their first-ever competition, winning a state championship as a team and having four individual champions as well as eight total placers.

“The kids had a lot of fun. And that’s really what I was worried about,” said Tyler Eady, the head coach of strength and conditioning at LaGrange High. “It ended up being a pretty good day for us.”

The program was founded just a few months ago when students Cade Hollstrom and Hunt McAteer pitched the idea to Eady, who was immediately on board.

“They came to me about three months ago and asked about it and asked what I knew about it and I told him the truth, which is not a lot,” Eady said. “They showed a lot of interest and any kid who shows interest, I’m never going to kill that spirit. So we started practicing, started reading up on the rulebook and talking with people I know, around the state, and people I didn’t know around the state.”

While the athletes had to sacrifice their mornings with practices scheduled 3-4 days a week at 6:30 A.M., Eady had to make even more sacrifices. He went out of his way to be USA PL certified because he firmly believes that if you are going to do something, you should do it to the best of your abilities.

“It was an eight-hour Zoom course on the day of the SEC championship, so my kids better love me. And then it was an 84-question test,” Eady said with a laugh.

Eady was excited when the team first came together, but now that he has a better understanding of the rules and regulations in place for powerlifting, he is even more jazzed up about the prospect of expanding powerlifting at LaGrange High and in this area in general.

“We could be somewhere, especially with our facilities, that hosts these things,” Eady said. “We want to spread the word of USA PL because I believe personally that they run things the right way. We would love to host an event for southwest Georgia,”

Sunday served as the team’s first meet, and the team was a ball of anxiety and excitement heading into that competition.

“Every kid I called the night before and I asked ‘Are you excited?’ and just talked to every kid and they all started with they were nervous but excited,” Eady said. “There were 200 people in attendance, and 60 other lifters or 50 other lifters and they’re all cheering for you, and it was live streamed.”

Multiple Grangers turned heads at their first powerlifting meet.

“As far as just outstanding guys that were there, Carson Shattuck and Jycel Mosley stole the show, I think with how big they are, and how easy they move certain weights,” Eady said. “Both of them lifted nearly 500 pounds on two lifts, and then someone that big is moving that way that fast you know it got a real big pop from the crowd.

“Cade Hollstrom was in fourth place going into his last deadlift and we went up to a weight that was a little steep of a climb if you ask me, but he grinded that rep out and it ended up shooting him into second place.”

The short-term plan is to squeeze in as many meets as the team can safely participate in between now and the end of the school year in May. The bar has been set high, but the Grangers are fired up for the opportunities to continue showing their mettle.