Rocket Lift-A-Thon kicks off football

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The participants gather after the event for a team photo and to honor the passing of the legendary Forrest football coach Murrey Holton, who passed away last week. Photos by Anthony S. Puca

On Monday, spring football practice commenced in Tennessee, beginning a new season on the gridiron and on Thursday, the Forrest Rockets got the party going a little early as they held their Lift-A-Thon, sponsored by The Chapel Hill Touchdown Association.

"The Lift-A-Thon went well tonight, the kids have been working hard in the off-season, the place was packed and I am proud of each and every one of them," said Forrest head coach Matt Kriesky. "It's very important, I told the kids ever since we started raising money for this that not meeting our goals here will be like not meeting our goals when things get tough on the field, so about a week ago I got after the kids and they exceeded our goals tonight."

1,000 lbs.-plus

Senior Ben Chumbley gives every ounce of his energy as he pulls up 475 pounds in the squat.

John Blanchett was the only participant to go over 1,000 pounds as the senior lineman ended up with 1,015 pounds combined weight in the three stations that included the bench press, clean and jerk and squats.

Blanchett led all lifters in the squat category, toting a massive 515 pounds, while lifting 275 on the bench press and 225 in the clean and jerk.

Logan Ray (300 bench, 220 clean, 475 squat) just missed the 1,000 pound mark, coming home with a 955 total, while Neyland Darnell (300 bench, 225 clean, 455 squat) was not far behind at 980.

Scrappy Osborne is marked by Forrest assistant coach Brent Johns as Osborne squats 295 pounds.

Nik McGuiggan (300 bench, 205 clean, 455 squat) finished in fourth- place with a combined 960-pound total in the three events.

Zach McClendon (955), who tied McGuiggan, Ray and Darnell for the best bench was the leader in the clean and jerk, lifting 250 pounds and in the squats, McClendon put 405 pounds in the books.

Junior Tristen Sawyer tied McClendon for a top five finish, compiling a 955 pound overall total with a 295 pound bench press, a 185 clean and jerk and added 435 pounds in the squats.

Zach McClendon tied three other Rocket lifters with an impressive 300 pound clean and jerk effort.

Heavy lifters

Ben Chumbley, a projected nose tackle for the Rockets this season, came home in sixth place with an impressive 940 pound total, lifting 250 on the bench, 215 at the clean and jerk and a whopping 475 pounds in the squat station.

Rounding out the top 10 were Allen Williams (875), Chance Hargrove (860), Jesse Pruitt (840) and Billy Clanton (835).

Blake Leonard pushed up 335 pounds in the squats during the Forrest Lift-A-Thon Thursday night.

The Rockets take the back practice field on the Forrest campus for their spring workouts and Kriesky, who took over for Brian Coleman is pumped and ready to go.

"I can't wait, it's been about two weeks I hadn't got any sleep thinking about this and I am excited and ready to get it going," said Kriesky. "I can't wait to see all the kids on the field and see what all this transpires in to."