Senior shoulders weight of leadership, lifts team

Jennyfer Tucker

Weights slam onto the floor, as another dead lift is completed. Cheers from the crowd encourage the competitors to keep going. The grunts and groans of the lifter, as they struggle with the next set to show their determination, this is the world of power lifting.

Senior Artie Reyes is an experienced member of the power lifting team who has been lifting for most of his high school career. Since his sophomore year, Reyes has been training to adjust to the intensity of this sport.

“Artie is a seasoned veteran lifter who has been on our team for three to four years,” power lifting coach Robert Jesurun said. “I think Artie, [like] anybody that power lifts, gains a lot from the sport.”

Artie not only power lifts, but also plays on the football team. Using each sport as a building block for the other, Artie has developed a well-rounded athleticism.

“I was trying to make it on the varsity [football team],” Reyes said. “I knew that if I did power lifting, I would get stronger, and that would give me a better chance on making it to varsity.”

Artie impacts the team not only by being a competitive power lifter, but acting as a leader as well.

“When we go to meets, I can concentrate on all the younger lifters because I know Artie won’t need as much of my help,” Jesurun said. “He also helps me with the younger lifters in workouts and at meets as a part of selecting their next weight attempts and making sure their knees are wrapped properly and their suits are fitting right.”

Though Artie is one of the upper class lifters, he also helps lifters of the same age and same experience. “Artie helps me a lot, because we’re in the same weight class,” senior power lifter KeeKee Johnson said. “It’s like we’re competing against each other. “

Artie is an influence to others by the way he has carried himself and his quality in what he does.

Artie gains muscle and a boost of self esteem from this physically and mentally challenging sport. In a sport where physical and mental strength is mandatory, Artie excels at both.

“Your confidence level is going to go up as you attempt things and do them, [that’s when] you improve,” Jesurun said. “This is beneficial in most areas of sports and Artie does this with power lifting”

A power lifting winner is determined by who lifts the most in each weight class in different types of lifts. This type of competition allows for each participate to show off their individual strength.

“The most I’ve ever lifted was about  540 on squat, 330 on bench, and about 470 on dead lift,” Artie said. “I do it, because I want to be stronger and I don’t want to be lazy.”

Reyes is dedicated to the sport of power lifting.

“Artie’s strongest quality is that he has a lot of confidence in himself and he is very technical,” Jesurun said. “His work ethic is certainly second to none.”