Warren Central lifters to show off strength in state championship

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

Vikings are known for their strength and determination when heading into battle and Warren Central will channel its inner spirit Viking this weekend.

Seniors Caleb Watts and Kievon Dee, along with freshman Lee Fortner will compete in the 2016 MHSAA State Powerlifting Championship Saturday in Jackson. Beginning at 8 a.m. the trio will battle amongst the strongest in the state in a nine-platform championship.

“I would’ve like to have more guys qualify for north state as well as state, but the three we got have done an excellent job. The last five weeks we’ve had a fabulous training cycle so I’m looking for some good things tomorrow,” said Warren Central’s powerlifting coach Chad McMullin.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

McMullin added the trio worked tremendously hard to prepare for Saturday.

“All their weights have jumped up on all three lifts,” McMullin said. “I don’t think we’ve missed a lift in the last five weeks. They’ve really done well and they’ve prepared and we’re going over to see what we can do.”

To arrive at the state championship, Watts, Dee and Fortner had to place in the top three of their respective weight classes during the Class 6A North State Finals on March 3.

Fortner placed third in the 114-pound weight class after clearing a total weight of 570 pounds by lifting 115, 220 and 235 pounds in the bench press, squat and deadlift. He hopes to finish as high as he can and could have more opportunities as he continues to grow as an individual.

However, this is the last rodeo for Dee and Watts.

Dee cleared a combined total of 1,145 pounds in his north state final benching 250 pounds, squatting 425 pounds and deadlifting 470 pounds. He heads into the weekend confident, yet nervous about performing.

“I’ve been thinking about it over the weekend how I’m going to do this and how I’m going to do that and still be able to accomplish winning first place in my weight group,” Dee said.

Watts is favored to take home first in his 220-pound weight class this weekend. He also looks to avenge his third-place standing from last year’s state championship.

“I’ve been pretty relaxed, just waiting. It’s been a long time waiting. I won third place and it made me mad,” he said. “It motivated me to do better and come in first place this year.”

Watts did place first in the north state final with a combined weight of 1,455 pounds, stamping his return to state championship and a chance to take home gold.

“It kind of puts a lot of pressure on me to do better and make sure I come home with a medal.”

Although, Watts is favored in his weight class, McMullin has those same first-place expectations for Dee and Fortner.

“We’re going after first and that’s what we’re going over there to get: Kievon same thing, Lee same thing,” McMullin said. “We’re not going over there to fool around, we’re going over there to win.”