Vikings win North State powerlifting title after scoring mixup is discovered

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Warren Central powerlifting coach Chad McMullin was in class on Friday, double-checking the scores from the previous day’s Class 6A North State meet during some downtime, when he broke up the quiet of the room with an astonished yell.

“Every single one of them looked up,” McMullin, laughing, said of his students. “I said, ‘Who said that?’ and tried to play it off.”

McMullin, though, couldn’t hide his excitement over something he and his program have been building toward for more than 20 years — a major meet championship.

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Warren Central totaled 36 points to win the MHSAA Class 6A North State meet last week at Pearl High School, although its coach and lifters didn’t know it until the next day. A glitch in the computer scoring system had mistakenly put a few of WC’s lifters in the wrong weight class and did not count the points they earned for their performances.

When the mistake was caught and corrected, it created a five-point swing that moved the Vikings from third to first place and gave them the title.

Warren Central went from 31 points to 36 after the adjustment was made. South Panola, originally credited with 36 points, dropped to 30 and third place in the team standings. Pearl was second before and after the adjustment with 32 points.

“We’ve been bridesmaids for 21 years. To break through and win a big, major meet is exciting. It’s been a crazy day and a half. You just want to enjoy it,” McMullin said. “I’ve had really good groups come through, and this is one of the tightest-knit groups we’ve had. We had enough guys to put points together and get us over the hump.”

The meet swung on several fourth- and fifth-place finishes that were not initially awarded to the Vikings, but they also had a number of lifters whose performances were not in doubt.

Lane Gordon (114-pound division), Channing Adams (181 pounds), Jalen Davenport (275) and George Owens (super heavyweight) all finished first in their respective weight classes. Chris Winston was third in the 308-pound division.

All five of those lifters qualified for the Class 6A state meet April 13 at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson.

Whether they’re good enough to add a state championship to the North State trophy, however, is questionable. All of the remaining WC lifters have a chance to medal, and a couple are the favorites in their weight classes. The state meet is a numbers game, though, and several teams pushed more lifters through.

Similar to how the fourth- and fifth-place points turned the tide for Warren Central at the North State meet, they’ll likely do the same for other teams at the state meet.

McMullin was realistic about that prospect, and said he’s happy with the one team trophy for now if his lifters can add some individual gold medals to go with it.

“With five (lifters), it’s feasible to win. Northwest Rankin eight or 10 years ago won it with six guys. You can do it with five guys, but you’ve got to have a lot of luck and a lot of things fall into place for you,” McMullin said. “We’ve got a good shot to win medals in all five classes. Channing and Jalen have a very good shot to win state in their weight classes. We’ve established ourselves as a very good program and we’re going to keep getting better.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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