By T. Scott Boatright
Cedar Creek’s “Iron Cougars” pushed it to the limit on Saturday as 14 powerlifters competed in the Chief Invitational hosted by Natchitoches Central High School.
A trio of sophomore Lady Cougars each reached the podium with strong performances in their respective classifications.
Ashlyn Bourn placed first in the 220s, Ainsley Riley finished third in the 148s, and in her first meet ever, Lauren Enterkin captured third place in the 165-pound weight class.
“That was a big win for Lauren being that she’s new to all of it, and she was in a very competitive class,” said Cedar Creek powerlifting coach Jacob Angevine. “I’m just happy we’re going to have all three of those sophomores around for a few more years with our girls team.”
On the boys side, 11 Cougars competed with Lawson Lillo and Jed Worthey finishing No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 148-pound class. Carson Riley took second in the 220-pound class and Bryce Rushing placed second in the 275-pound weight class during his first meet ever.
Six Cougars pumped a total of 1,000 pounds or more during the meet — Lillo, Worthey, Jordan Vail, Landon Amidon, Carson Riley and Rushing.
Angevine’s lifters have continued to maneuver through the ongoing COVID surge and flu outbreak in their training.
“We’ve had some out, but so has every other team in the state,” Angevine said. “Say a kid gets sick. The way we do things he or she can get right back up to speed. They might be a tad bit weaker the first few days, but it’s one of those things every program in the state is having to fight through.”
Something else the Cedar Creek powerlifters are having to fight through as the consequences of their own success?
After the Cougars won a Division V state title last year and the girls fell only a point shy of their own state title, Cedar Creek has become a team that opponents look forward to facing and trying to beat.
“It’s an individual sport, and a team sport,” Angevine said. “A couple of years ago we only had one female lifter, and she gave us our goal by winning an individual state championship. But the real goal is that team trophy.
“Winning the boys championship last year, I think we put a lot of teams on notice. And for the first girls team ever at Cedar Creek to compete for a state meet, and come one point short of a state championship, I think we woke a lot of teams up and showed them that we’re here to stay for the long run.”
Next up for the Cedar Creek boys team is a trip to West Monroe on Jan. 22. Then on Jan. 29, the girls team will lift in the Port Allen meet.
“Port Allen is the defending 2A state champion,” Angevine said. ‘So that’s going to be a really big and exciting challenge. We’ll be going up against some of the top girls teams in the state, so our girls are really fired up. Lutcher, the defending 3A state champions, will be there as well along with a couple of 5A schools, so we’re really excited to see how our girls can stack up against some of the best teams in the state.”