State powerlifting meet begins today

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
April 6, 2001
The Wayne County War Eagle powerlifting team has never qualified for the State Meet.
This year, however, the resurgent War Eagle squad will take the most lifters of any squad in their classification 10 when they travel to Pearl Saturday to participate in the Class 5A Powerlifting Championships at Pearl High School.
That may be a big reason first-year powerlifting coach John Perry was named Powerlifting Coach of the Year for the 2001 season an award that encompasses all classes.
But according to Perry, the award and trip this weekend to Pearl are somewhat bittersweet, as he will be leaving the War Eagle family after the school year to join the recently-departed Bobby Hall on the football staff at Northeast Mississippi Community College.
But if Perry, who coached the host Pirates last season, is to break through and get a state title with his current bunch, he'll have to go through perennial Class 5A power Madison Central, a feat that has eluded the War Eagles this year.
The Jaguars have somehow managed to edge Wayne County in two other meets, besting the War Eagles by four points in both their host meet and the 5A South State championship a few weeks ago.
The lifters making the Saturday trek are: Kevin Gandy, Chris Harris, Kevin Hill, Reggie Davis, Lance Gandy, Darrell Davis, Brodie Jones, Cornell Blakely, Greg Moore and Willie Evans.
Quitman: Eddie Sorto's squad is looking for a repeat Class 4A title when the Panthers bring nine lifters to the meet Saturday, one less than last year.
Seniors Vance McLendon and Aaron Rose are the repeat performers for the Panthers, as both of these competitors won their respective weight classes last season.
Rose, who took the 123 lbs., class in 2000, enters the meet as the top lifter in the 132 class with a total lift of 1,050 pounds at South State.
McLendon took the 148 lbs., division last year. He also comes in as the top lifter. Sorto's other lifters that have a chance at state gold are Courtney Haralson, Willie Pickens, Hernandez Price, Matt Moffett, Eugene Hamilton, Jeffrey Jasper and John Poisso.
Meridian: The Wildcats will throw their weight around at state, as this year, Brian Anderson will be taking four to state.
Sophomore David Fielder took the South State competition in the 165 lbs., class with a composite lift of 1,180 pounds.
Dominique Naylor, the defending South State champ in the 148 lbs., class, qualified for third with a total of 1,100. Junior Justin Mardis made it in the 275 weight with a total of 1,415. Sophomore Courtney Lynch rounds out Anderson's group (123 class). He comes in having finished second in South State with a score of 860.
Forest: Jack French will also take three lifters to the Class 3A meet that begins today. Seniors Jerry Bowie (165) and David Moore (220) finished second at South State, while sophomore Jason Lopez (123) took first.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at