Vikings looking for title

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 2, 2004

Warren Central powerlifting coach Chad McMullin gives a spot to lifter John Stauts during a workout on Thursday. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[4/2/04]Warren Central coach Chad McMullin decided to give his powerlifting team a few days off heading into the weekend.

The lifters will use that time as a calm before the storm as they will travel to Pearl High on Saturday for the Class 5A state meet.

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The Vikings are sending seven lifters the most ever in the school’s six years of competition and they are hoping to overthrow the title favorites, Madison Central and Natchez.

“These guys, most of them have never had any experience past the district meet, and they’ve done absolutely wonderful this year,” said McMullin, who is in his third year as head coach. “They’ve probably been the best team we’ve had come through here in the six years that we’ve had a powerlifting team.”

South state champions James Armstrong (123-pound class), Jonathan Nash (198), Jesse Pedyfoot (220) and John Stauts (308) will be joined by Brian Sessums (132), Matt Prince (220) and Daniel Cook (242).

“Everybody going there could win a medal, but they’re really going to have to bring their A’ games,” McMullin said.

Armstrong and Sessums have the best chance at finishing first in their weight groups, McMullin said. He also expects Cook and Stauts to medal.

Nash, Pedyfoot and Prince will have more of a challenge because of the competition.

“They’re going to have uphill battles because the guys that are in front of them are at least 100 pounds or more ahead going into this meet,” McMullin said. “But at these meets at least one person per weight class scratches out just because it’s tough.”

McMullin expects a good showing, but he’s not making any grand predictions.

“I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re going to win state,” he said. “I think we’re still a little ways away from that. We’ve got to catch up with Madison.”

A year removed from its state championship, Vicksburg High will send six lifters to Pearl to defend the title.

Quinard Wilson (132), South state champion Casey Younger (242), Roderick Erves (308) and Detrick Johnson (308) return from last year’s team. Joining them will be Anthony Cleveland (132) and Marcus Stokes (198).

VHS coach Robert Erves knows the chances of repeating are slim. The Gators lost three individual state champions from last year’s group and are sending four fewer lifters than Madison Central this year.

“Last year we had more talent,” Robert Erves said. “It was more or less a senior-oriented powerlifting team. That was the good thing about it. We were more solid.”

Roderick Erves and Johnson, along with WC’s Stauts, may all be shooting for second place behind Hollis Hoskins of South Panola in the 308-pound class. Hoskins has lifted a total of 1,785 pounds this season, well above the second-place lifters.

But Erves expects his four returning lifters to put in a good showing.

“They’re going to surprise some people,” he said. “They’ve been there. They know what it’s all about to win a state championship.”