Powerlifting Patriots

Some South athletes are achieving “heavy” goals in the weight room


Senior Carson Johnson demonstrates his clean technique. Photo by Joseph Wofford

Many students in South High are in their own worlds. For some, it’s in a book, for many it’s a phone, but for some select few it’s the time-honored tradition of a sport. There are many sports here at South, including basketball, football, swimming, volleyball, and track, but there are currently no weight-lifting sports.

However, this doesn’t stop many students from competing in these exercises. For junior Drewd Aladdin, this was qualifying for nationals in powerlifting back in January at the Lindenwood powerlifting meets. Aladdin said he believes that he was only able to reach this goal of his with his determination.

“You have to be deadly committed, you can’t skip a day. Even if you don’t want to do it,” Aladdin said.

Being committed to something as physically challenging as powerlifting isn’t for everyone and that one must seriously consider their health before putting up with that task.

This couldn’t be truer, at least in the opinion of P.E. teacher Kyle Whitcher. Whitcher teaches Strength and Conditioning classes, and he said he’s just happy to be teaching the youth that the body is just as strong as the mind.

“I enjoy the atmosphere of challenging yourself and the delayed gratification that exercise results teach us. As far as teaching strength training to high schoolers, it is a fun job. I enjoy their energy and the ability to expose them to exercise habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.” Whitcher said.

One of Whitcher’s students, senior Adam Slade, has competed in two competitions on a state level and has broken the state bench record at his age and weight class at 330 lbs.

Slade has been working out for the past three years, and in the past year, he believed he was good enough to compete, so he talked to Whitcher and was placed in a program to help him train.

“To get to the big numbers, it’s a very very slow process, but you just need to trust the process,” Slade said.

Senior Carson Johnson, unlike the other two on this list, is training for Olympic weightlifting.

“I enjoy the challenge of it…I just train 4 to 5 days a week, every single week I just stay consistent,” Johnson said.

Olympic weightlifting uses different lifts they use in the actual Olympics, with small-scale contests and championships, Johnson states that he only wishes to hopefully reach his records and simply just have fun.

“It doesn’t really matter exactly what you’re doing when it comes to something like weight lifting, it’s more just that you’re keeping yourself in shape and having fun while doing it. So long as you’re being safe, I think everyone should try a physical challenge in their life at some point.” Aladdin said.