Up lifting

The Powerlifting program this year has reached success like never before, winning championships and student-athletes beating their personal best lifts records

Students lift weights during Anna Centella’s Strength class on April 5 in the strength room at the Upper Campus.

Grace Hunt, Freshman Campus Bureau Chief

A powerlifting student-athlete is under the heavy weight of what could be a new personal record. Powerlifting has pushed them to accomplish weights like never before, but it’s this moment to push themselves back up and improve once again. As they begin to feel weak their teammates and coaches motivate them on.  

MCHS strength programs serve almost 45% of all students between strength physical education classes and athletic teams training both in and off season. MCHS school district provides state of the art and well-maintained equipment and resources for students because of the amount of use the facility and equipment is used year round. 

The Powerlifting Club was started to promote students to train with lifts in a safe environment and have the opportunity to participate in powerlifting meets. 

“We have great strong kids who love to train and it sounded like a fun opportunity for them to participate and showcase their hard work in the weight room,” said John Beerbower, physical education instructor. “Because powerlifting involves three lifts that we train on a regular basis at MCHS, I feel more comfortable having our student-athletes participate.” 

Beerbower supervises the Powerlifting Program at MCHS for students to participate in weight lifting safely. 

“I am encouraged to run this program because of how I have seen the experiences our kids have through the powerlifting club change their lives. I have seen our kids’ confidence and courage grow. I have seen them feel good about themselves,” said Beerbower. “I have seen it be an activity that everyone can have success in, regardless of gender, race, size, and strength.” 

Powerlifting practices allow student-athletes the time to work on developing better techniques and themselves, prioritizing their health and wellness. 

“It makes me have a place to go to not focus on anything else but lifting. It’s a good environment,” said Amari Montgomery. “I just get more confident because in powerlifting nobody judges you… they just encourage you to do it and add more [weight] if you want to.” 

Illinois High School Powerlifting Association has four pillars, including character, culture, service, and equity. 

“These are all shared values of MCHS and our strength program and I am proud to have our student-athletes participate in IHSPA events,” said Beerbower.

Lifting in an environment that supports these values and priorities the safety of the students is maintained in the Powerlifting Program.

“The goal is to do better than we did before, everyday is a better you, especially there,” said Montgomery. ”You think about the triangle like your mental health, your physical health, and your social health. I feel like when I go there it balances everything out.” 

Anyone can join and participate in the Powerlifting Club throughout the year. The club provides opportunities anyone can benefit from.

“I want this to be done with the utmost safety,” said Beerbower. “I am also a big believer in the importance of relationships, connection and making friends. I have seen the Powerlifting Club help bring people together and also help students make strong friendships and feel connected to their school.”

The club has seen many successes over the past few years including taking 3rd place in a qualifying team last year at state. 

“The future is very bright and our participation numbers have been excellent,” said Beerbower. “I have been so impressed with how all of our Powerlifting Club members and volunteers have stepped up.  We have been running long enough to have alumni who remember their experiences and want to come back and serve at the meets or support the current powerlifters!  2021-22 has been our club’s best year since we started.”

Senior Logyn Frapolly, who participates in the Powerlifting Club, obtained runner-up among the top powerlifters at USA Powerlifting High School Nationals. 

The most important things that happen in our program have very little to do with the weights.   It’s all about the relationships, pride, work ethic, growth that our student-athletes make while training with us.  We have the privilege to be part of their journey and help support their efforts in being the best versions of themselves,” said Beerbower.

The powerlifting student-athlete begins to slowly gain more strength in their body to push the weight back up. With the power of their teammates’ encouragement and hard work they’ve put in at practice, they’ve improved tremendously in a safe environment. Everyone cheers each other on as the student beats their personal best lift record.