West Monroe girls, St. Paul’s win state titles

WEST MONROE — On the final day of the 2013 LHSAA State Powerlifting Championships, the St. Paul’s Wolves captured the Division I boys championship while hometown West Monroe captured the girls’ team title in a squeaker Saturday afternoon.

With five individual state championships, St. Paul’s defeated its closest opponent, runner-up West Monroe by a 49-38 score. Walker finished third with 21 points.

Blake Ricalde took home the 148-pound crown for the Wolves while David Thompson was the 165-pound winner, Marc Reagan was the 181-pound winner, Gustavo Garcia was the 220-pound winner and Reuben Faust was the 275-pound winner.

Caleb Clark of Central was the 123-pound winner, Trevor Miller of Walker was the 242-pound winner and Andrelyon Lee of Walker was the super heavyweight individual state champion.

Lushawn Ware of West Monroe and Josh Bickham of Covington were the outstanding lifters in Division I boys.

“It never gets old,” St. Paul’s coach Jesse Kellum said. “I’ve been in this sport for 34 years, and I knew we had a good team coming back, but winning a state championship is a tremendous accomplishment no matter what the time.

“We knew that West
Monroe was our main
competitor for the championship, and it was great to be able to come
in here and beat a quality team like that in their own house.

“It is a lot of pressure and expectations to live up to being the favorite, but I like having a team that has to do that. We expect to win. We train
under pressure, and we get our kids ready for that pressure. We come here ready to win.”

In the closest competition of the entire championships, West Monroe’s girls crown edged Northshore 40-39. Natchitoches Central finished third with 37 points.

Capturing the same number of individual state championships as the Panthers, four second-place finishes proved to be the difference for West Monroe.

Markecia Modicue was the 132-pound winner, and Siana Shepherd was the 220-pound winner. However, second places by Ruth Crigler in the 114-pound class, Haley
Kottenbrook in the 181-pound class, Shavonna Owens in
the 198-pound class and Rebecca Parr in the 220-pound class help put West Monroe on top.

“Words cannot even explain how proud I am of this team and my girls,” Rebels coach Laurie Watson said. “I’m beyond words.

“At the end of the meet, as we had it calculated, we actually thought we had lost the team title. We fortunately miscalculated. So you go through the emotions of thinking you are not going to win to winning the championships. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this team from my youngest junior varsity lifter to my senior varsity lifter. It’s the best overall team that I have ever had.

“We had some bomb outs but were still able to pull it out; I don’t know how. I can only give credit to our girls and the support they get and this entire program gets.

“It was extra special to do this in front of the home crowd as well. It was so awesome I cannot describe. I honestly don’t know what to say. I am so excited. It’s beyond words. I am so happy.”

Brittany Johnson of Central captured the 123-pound crown, Victoria Wilson of Live Oak was the 181-pound champion and Sarah Novak of Walker was the 198-pound champion.

Wilson, along with Northshore’s Swigart, were the outstanding lifters for the Division I girls.