MONROE — One point from perfection.
That’s how good the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state powerlifting meet went for Cedar Creek at Fant-Ewing Coliseum on the campus of the University of Louisiana-Monroe. After the boys won the Division V state championship Thursday, the girls were one point shy of tying Calvary Baptist for the state crown Friday.
“Our girls watched the boys celebrate like that and it got them even more motivated,” said Cedar Creek head coach Jacob Angevine.
“It’s a great showing by the girls, but at the same time, it’s tough knowing we were just one point short. There’s a bright future for the Creek.”
With only one senior (Kyleigh Davis, who broke the state record in her weight class in the bench press), the Lady Cougars had 10 of 11 competitors finish on the awards podium. Davis’ teammates were all freshmen and sophomores, and there’s great interest in the junior high classes.
“Our girls are already looking ahead to next year and calling it their ‘Revenge Tour.’ They were asking if we could do a Saturday morning workout, and I told them they’d be sore after all that great lifting,” Angevine said. “They were. But they’ll be back training very soon.”
Emma Moore, a freshman, broke the state 114-pound squat and total lift records and was one of three individual state champions among the Creek girls. Ainsley Riley and Olivia Salter also captured state titles in their weight classes.
Sophomore Tatum Brasher broke the 165-pound state bench press record. Peyton Muse, also a sophomore, broke the 132-pound deadlift state record.
Angevine and assistants Justin Chelette, Jason Lillo, Paul Riley and Josh Robinson were ecstatic about the performances of their competitors, starting with the boys.
“We had an awesome group of seniors,” Angevine said, citing 275-pound state champ Trace Barnett, 242-pound state champ Caden Lillo and team captain J.B. Johnson, whose football injury kept him from competing this spring.
“They lost to Delhi as sophomores, and then Covid shut down everything last year when we really believed we had a great shot to win it,” said Angevine. “We got a couple of senior football offensive linemen out, (state champion) Jackson Cuthbert and Ben Merchant (second in his class), who had big impacts.”
Led by five individual state champs — adding freshman Lawson Lillo and junior Jed Worthey — the Creek boys met their lofty expectations. Caden Lillo won Outstanding Lifter/Heavy Platform in the division while Worthey took the honor for the light platform.
Four state records fell: Caden Lillo in the 242-pound bench press, Lawson Lillo in the 123-pound bench, Austin Webb in the 148-pound bench and Worthey in the 132-pound squat.
The assistant coaches were certain the Cougars had outdistanced their competition late in the day but Angevine didn’t relax until the official announcement.
“I didn’t want to believe them, in spite of how confident they were. I told my principal he didn’t hire me to do math,” he said. “But when the announcement was made, it was incredible. Winning the state championship was a dream come true for all of us.”
In Division I competition, Ruston High’s top finishes in a power-packed field came from Dennis Williams in the 275-pound class (fifth) and Ainsley Wood in the girls’ 198-pound class (sixth).
BASEBALL: Ruston (12-5) has now won six of its last seven after a pair of heavy-hitting wins Friday over Claiborne Christian (8-1) and Saturday past a talented Sterlington club (9-3). The Bearcats will meet Sterlington again this evening on the road at 5:30, and start district play Thursday at home against West Monroe (6 p.m.).
Ruston recorded 11 hits in each win. Hadyn Shoemaker homered against Claiborne Christian and Jack Whitaker went deep in the Sterlington victory, as J.R. Tollet was the winning pitcher and collected three hits.
Cedar Creek (8-7) faced stout competition in its trip to the Acadiana area, but ended with a 4-1 win over Jennings after dropping contests to Comeaux (5-2) and North Vermilion (13-3). The Cougars visit Union Parish this evening at 6, then have a break until April.
Nathan Gremillion had a two-run first-inning single to start the victory. Brady Wade scattered six hits and struck out six, going the distance on the bump.
North Vermilion busted open a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fifth and poured on nine runs in the sixth. Comeaux also broke a 2-all knot in the bottom of the fifth and prevailed despite notching only three hits, although the Spartans swiped nine bases.
Photos courtesy Cedar Creek School/Christy Mabou