The third annual Hallsville lift-a-thon had lofty goals. Not just to surpass the $7,000 raised last year, but to give the students participating a sense of strength, both inside and out.
Held in the school’s north gym on Monday night, the lift-a-thon might sound like an excuse for muscle-heads to get together and flex, but the goals are a bit more diverse than that.
“There are several reasons we do it,” said John Morris, who is the head of Hallsville’s body conditioning program, as well as the school’s football coach.
“One is just to put the kids out in front of the people and let them lift. It takes a lot of courage to do that. We use the weight program as a confidence builder.”
The weight program also builds more obvious parts of the body, and on that note, the school’s bench press record was broken by Anthony Reddick.
Reddick is a five foot, ten inch junior defensive and offensive lineman. He benched 315 pounds, besting the old school record by ten pounds, and Morris said he could have done more, but he was out of lifting tries.
Reddick took the medal in the high school heavyweight boys division. Other winners were:
• Rachel Gall, junior high girls, 105 pounds
• Miles Drummond, junior high boys, 195 pounds
• Nicole Wheeler, high school girls, 165 pounds
• Ryan Anderson, middleweight high school boys, 225 pounds
• Joe Flood, light heavyweight high school boys, 255 pounds
“A lot of the younger guys are doing really well,” Morris said. “They started around 115 pounds, and are now up to 215-230. We are gaining.”
Hallsville football coaches Jason Clark and Bryan Wildenhain also lifted, each getting the bar up at 320 pounds.
But the most weight thrown around on the evening was by special guest Brock Olivo. Olivo, a former Mizzou running back and Detroit Lion, who was sponsored by fellow former Tiger David Roe, lifted 400 pounds.
“A lot of the time it is the running back or QB that gets all the glory,” Morris said. “There are a lot of others involved. A lot of guys work hard to get there.”
It was more than just the football playing guys that took part, as students from both genders covering many grades lifted.
“Everybody has bought into this here, including the girls,” Morris said of the weight program. “They work hard, and a lot of kids are lifting every day.”
The evening was not strictly about who lifted what, it was a fund raiser for the school’s weight program, a program that has grown by leaps and bounds since the lift-a-thon began three years ago.
“The first one we had, the weights kinda tinkled,” Morris said, “they were pretty small weights. We had a long ways to go. Now we are actually lifting some weight.”
Last year’s lift-a-thon raised around $7,000, and this year’s edition came in around the same number, $6,763 in donations.
“Participation was less this year,” said Morris. “We had about 15 less guys, but we had more individual donors.”
Those that take part go out in the community and get donations. Those can come in the form of so many dollars per pound lifted or simply a flat donation. In the days after the event, the kids go back out and collect the money.
“It all goes right back into the weight program and facilities. We are not in the business of making body builders, we make athletes.”
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