Basketball and wrestling catch most of the attention at this time of year but another group of athletes are getting ready to start their playoffs.

And for area powerlifters, those playoffs start this week with the regional meet at the Woodward County Event Center.

Woodward High School is hosting the regional for the first time.

Boomer football coach Rick Luetjen along with volunteers and sponsors are putting the finishing touches on preparations for the meet set Thursday and Friday.

"I would really like to thank all of the people who have offered to help sponsor ands volunteer to help," Luetjen said. "This is an event that truly takes a 'village' to pull off but what a great way to show off our people and the community of Woodward."

Competition starts Thursday with the junior high, which has three divisions (7th, 8th and 9th grade). The high school regional is Friday with two divisions - small 2A-under, and large 3A-over.

Luetjen said there are 58 schools in this region, but a few don't offer powerlifting and some are not competing due to covid.

Still, there will be plenty of competitors on hand. Junior high teams can have up to 33 lifters (11 per division) and high school teams can have 22 total lifters.

Team and individual championships are on the line as well as trips to the state meet in El Reno.

"Each Class (6A-C) will have a team champion and runner-up," Luetjen said. "Individuals medal for finishing in the top five of their weight class, either small school or large school. The top five overall finishers in each weight class qualify for state out of the four regionals, and then the next five totals in any of the regionals pull up as at large, putting 25 in each weight class for state."

Powerlifting involves three separate lifts - squat, bench press and deadlift. Each lifter gets three attempts at each of the lifts for total weight lifted of the three combined.

Luetjen said points are awarded to the individuals who place in the top 10 in their weight class for each of the three lifts as well as their overall total.

Junior high weight classes range from 105 pounds to heavyweight. High school weight classes go from 123 to heavyweight. There are 11 weight classes in both junior high and high school divisions.

While often thought of as an off-season sport for football, powerlifting involves other athletes as well.

"Powerlifting is a great opportunity for our football players and other athletes to get a chance to compete in the winter if they are not in basketball or wrestling," Luetjen said. "It used to be a football only sport but it's now open to any student athlete.

"Next year we will have some strength and conditioning classes back on our schedule and hopefully increase the interest for both boys and girls."

Things like hosting the regional competition will help increase interest.

"I was really excited when I got the phone call to see if I was interested in hosting the regional here," Luetjen said, "It's a ton of work and a lot of upfront expense, but it should pay off in the long run. Also, we are so blessed that the Event Center is allowing us to host it in their amazing facility.

"Most events are held in basketball gyms that are pretty cramped and always the concern of it still being used for basketball. The Event Center is a state of the art facility and we need facilities like this to bring people here to our town and help generate revenue."

Looking to the future, Luetjen is hopeful of also hosting an invitational meet next season - filling a gap in this area.

"There are basically none in our area during the season," he said. "We had to drive to Chickasha to compete in our first meet because it was the closest to Woodward."

Lifting both days of the regional will start at 9 a.m. Each team is allocated tickets but there will also be general admission tickets available at the door for $8 each. The size of the event center allows for more fans, plus room for social distancing.

Trending Video

Recommended for you