November 25, 2020

14 Braves place in State Runner-Up Finish

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(Louisville, GA) — Around 40 Heard High School weightlifters made the long trip to Jefferson County High School in Louisville, GA over the weekend and walked away with a runner-up finish in Class AA at the GACA (Georgia Athletic Coaches Association) State Weightlifting meet.

The second place finish marked an impressive top-two finish for the fourth consecutive year for the Braves at the annual strength meet.

The 2015 Braves also set a new Heard County mark with 14 different lifters earning points with top six finishes.

Leading the way was senior Duranta Dunson who bench pressed 315 pounds and power cleaned 315 pounds to score his first state title in the 171-180 pound weight class.

Junior Andrew Cannon and sophomore Austin Miller each claimed second place medals while junior Austin Barron brought home third place.

Cannon benched 315 and cleaned 290 in the 181-190 pound class while Miller benched 205 and cleaned 255 in the 140 and below weight class. Barron benched 295 and cleaned 290 in the 171-180 pound class.

Fourth place winners included Tristan Thomas (250 bench, 245 clean), Ryan Moody (275 bench, 255 clean), and senior Elijah Toney (300 bench, 290 clean).

Fifth place medals were awarded to Chandler Polk (260 bench, 265 clean), Diamond Delgado (285 bench, 305 clean), and Chandler Moon (285 bench, 265 clean).

Sixth place medals were earned by James Sprayberry (190 bench, 230 clean), senior Zack Stephens (265 bench, 320 clean), Hunter Lane (285 bench, 290 clean), and Jacob Bishop (265 bench, 250 clean).

The host Jefferson County Warriors took the state title with 17 lifters placing and a team total of 81 points.

The Braves (50 team points) just edged third place finishers the Vidalia Indians (49 points). Bacon County took fourth place.

Coach Rich Fendley was pleased with the effort of his guys at the annual meet.

“Our kids lifted great and we had more kids point this year than we ever have which is a good sign for our program. We also have 10 of our 14 placers coming back next year which is excellent,” said Fendley.

“We have finished runner=up, state champ, state champ, runner-up the last four years and that is what we want — to be in the mix each and every year.”

This year’s meet was a little different than the past three as the squat was eliminated from the competition, leaving only the bench press and the power clean.

“I think eliminating the squat leveled the playing field this year,” said Fendley. “You didn’t have some kids getting away with high squats as in year’s past.”

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