The Keystone Heights boys weightlifting team brought home their third Class 1A state champion title in 2023.
The Indians joined Mainstreet Sports Director Mike Ridaught and Marty Pallman on The Prep Zone Sports Show to discuss their season.
Below are excerpts from the May 3, 2023, show—edited for length and clarity—of The Prep Zone’s interview. You can listen to the full conservation online by going to www.mainstreetdailynews.com/prep-zone.
Q: Congratulations. Just kind of sum up the season for us because I know you’ve knocked off the 3A state champions, and you won a state championship. Really, really good season again.
Coach Lantz Lowery: Appreciate it. Thank you a lot. Yeah, after the team that won it in 2021 and 2022, you’ve turned over all your kids. The 2021 team was really good. And then it was the same, really the same kids came back for 2022. So that group last year was really just kept them from getting fat, kept them on diet, get them to show what you know, they were just you knew you had something special, right? And then you turn all those kids over.
So this year, was a whole lot of young men that have never been counted on. These kids that were seniors and scored all of our points, the juniors have scored all of our points or the bulk of our points this year, last year, had no pressure. They were there. They were at the state finals. And that was one of the best things we have is we get half of our team back every year that are at the state championship. When this year started, you’re like, where are we going to get points? Where are we going to be able to win, I just graduated all the state champions, I’ve graduated everybody. But when you’ve got 100 kids to start with and 100 kids to choose from, the best competition that they face all year is when they work out together every day. So, in several of our weight classes, we scored points at the state finals, multiple kids and given weight classes. When you can do that, you’re stealing points from other schools…we can place more than one kid scoring points. That’s the biggest benefit we have.
Q: But a lot of these guys play football as well.
Lowery: Most of them are; a couple of my real small 119 pounders aren’t. But most of them are football players. I have a football weightlifting class, so we lift weights every day there and then we go and workout after school now.
Q: Steve Reynolds, known in this area, coached at Bradford. Tell us a little bit about Steve and the interactions that you’ve had so far with him.
Lowery: He helped me an awful lot with weightlifting the last couple years, and he became our new head football coach this past December when Coach Dickinson resigned after 24 years. He was there forever. Steve brings a lot of energy. He’s well known in the area. He has some really interesting, good football ideas. And he’s it. I think the world of Coach Dickinson as a good person, but sometimes it’s just a breath of fresh air that energizes. He brings good energy.
Q: Coach said you moved up this year. So how difficult is that to just you know, go up a weight class is it is it a lot of I mean, you got a muscle you got to put on more are you putting on weight?
Brian “Bo” Overton: I mean in high school naturally you’re growing so it wasn’t too hard for me to move up a class because from the football season. I’d already gained that weight. I put it on and I just fine tuned my muscles and my muscular strength through that weightlifting season.
Q: Are there that many colleges that offer weightlifting?
Larry “Trey” Jefferies: Not as much as I wish there were. But I’m starting to realize that they’re starting to grow a lot more, which is awesome for people like me that want to go to college for weightlifting. Coach said ultimately, it’s the USA trying to get Olympic competition. You know, they want to be better in the Olympics. And I think it’s a good feeder system for it.
Q: Have you always envisioned that this was a direction you might go? Or, at what point did you think, okay, I might want to go to college for weightlifting?
Jefferies: Probably around last year, whenever I almost got to state. I was just like, this honestly might be the sport that I want to go to college for.