Area powerlifters pile up podium finishes at MHSAA state meet

Published 4:00 pm Thursday, April 11, 2024

Lincoln County and the surrounding area were well represented at the MHSAA state powerlifting meet over the weekend.

The Brookhaven High Panthers finished third overall in the 5A competition while lifters from Wesson, Loyd Star, West Lincoln, Bogue Chitto and Enterprise all had podium finishes during the event.


Brookhaven High

The Brookhaven High Panthers and coach Russ Britt finished third overall behind Corinth High and Gautier High.

Britt saw two of his lifters finish first overall in their divisions in senior Zach Moore and junior Ramiereze Edwards.

Moore won the 132-pound class with a personal record in squat (340 pounds) and deadlift (445 pounds). His three-lift total was also a personal best of 965 combined pounds.

Edwards finished first in the 148-pound class and had personal bests in all three of his lifts. Edwards squatted 435 pounds, benched 185 pounds, and deadlifted 540 pounds. His three-lift total of 1,160 pounds, another personal best. His deadlift was the heaviest for any 5A lifter between the weight of 148-pounds to 181-pounds.

Edwards also became the first BHS lifter in program history to win state titles in two different weight classes as he captured first place 2022 in the 114-pound class.

The wins by Moore and Edwards means that BHS has had six individual state titles in the last three years.

“Proud of the guys for all their accomplishments,” said Britt. “I’ll miss my seniors as they’ll depart for college. We will re-group next season and give it another go at it.”

Junior Jamaal Brown finished third in the 123-pound class behind a career best 305 pound squat.

Senior Xavier Gayten, a Mississippi State football signee, finished third in the 181-pound class. Gayten had a personal best three lift total of 1,220 pounds. Gayten squatted a career best 485 pounds and benched 240 pounds.

Gayten’s class was won by a lifter from Corinth High, who came to the Mississippi Coliseum with a truckload of lifting suits, knee wraps and wrist wraps.

Powerlifting is unlike any other sport in that the strategy that goes into athletes cutting or adding weight in order to give their team a point advantage by lifting in a different class. Having the newest and best gear can also give lifters an advantage.

“The meet went well, other than one little hiccup that cost us a 12-point swing,” said Britt. “Things like that happen all the time, especially in the sport of powerlifting. Hats off to Corinth, they put on as impressive of a state performance as I’ve seen in the last 13 years.”

Corinth netted 50 points in the win while Gautier finished with 32 points and Brookhaven High earned 22 points to finish third. There were 17 total schools competing in the 5A class.

Other BHS lifters were senior Eric Williams (fifth in 220-pound class), senior Kenan Quinn (fifth in 165-pound class), and eighth grader Landon Newman (sixth in 132-pound class).

Newman’s bench press of 205 pounds was the best of any lifter between the weights of 114-132-pounds.



Wesson got a second-place finish in the 3A meet from junior Cotton Westbrook. It was a close battle between Westbrook and the first-place lifter from Kossuth. Westbrook squatted 445 pounds, bench pressed 315 pounds and deadlifted 490 pounds in the 198-pound class.

Westbrook lifted the same amount as Damien Baker from Kossuth, 1,250 combined pounds, but Baker took first place by weighing less than Westbrook. Kossuth edged out South Pike by four points to take the 3A team title.

The Wesson powerlifting team, coached by Jeremy Loy, also got a fifth-place finish in the 114-pound class from freshman Zech Holloway.


Loyd Star

Loyd Star powerlifting coach Adam Smith brought two lifters to Jackson, and both ended up on the podium with top three finishes. In the 275-pound class, freshman LaJavion Nelson finished third overall with a three-lift total of 1,265 pounds lifted.

Nelson squatted 515 pounds, benched 230 pounds and deadlifted 520 pounds.

Union High won the team competition in the 2A ranks.

In the 308-plus pound competition, Loyd Star eighth grader Cedric Sanders finished second. Sanders squatted 465 pounds, benched 265 pounds and deadlifted 385 pounds.

In the girls’ event, Loyd Star freshman Alicia Loyd finished sixth overall in the 220-pound class.


West Lincoln

Coming off a strong showing in 2A South State, the West Lincoln Bears had two lifters end their day on the podium in juniors Tyler Hall and Hayz Boyte.

Hall, lifting in the 123-pound class, finished second for the Bears and coach Brad Bland. Hall squatted 310 pounds and bench pressed 165 pounds. In deadlift, Hall picked up 405 pounds, tied for the most in his class. His three-lift total was a combined 880-pounds.

Boyte lifted in the 114-pound class and finished third with a three-lift total of 660-pounds. He squatted 235pounds, bench pressed 140 pounds, and deadlifted 285 pounds.

Bland and the Bears also got a fifth-place finish from junior Chance Stewart in the 148-pound class and a sixth-place finish from sophomore Braden Hamm in the 198-pound class.


Bogue Chitto

A day before the boys lifted, the girls’ competition took over the Mississippi Coliseum and Bogue Chitto sent three lifters to compete in that event. Coached by Chad Norton, BC had a podium finisher in eighth grader Olivia Carlile in the 2A competition.

Carlile, lifting in the 97-pound class, finished third overall with a 115-pound squat, a 70 pound bench and a 175 pound deadlift. Bogue Chitto also had a fifth-place finish in the 105-pound class from seventh grader Cailyn McClendon.



Enterprise junior Preston Mooneyham just missed out on winning the 1A 308-plus class for the Yellow Jackets. Mooneyham had a three-lift total of 460-pounds on squat, 205 pounds on bench, and 500 pounds on deadlift. The winning lifter from Vardaman High edged him out by 20 pounds to take first place.

EAC powerlifting coach Trey Woodard also had junior Jaden Cothern finish seventh in the 275-pound class.