Pope John Paul takes Division IV; Delhi wins Division V at powerlifting meet

WEST MONROE — In the first Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Powerlifting State Meet, two schools swept championships.

Slidell’s Pope John Paul II captured both Division IV-Class 2A state team championships and Delhi captured both team state titles in Division V-Class 1A and below.

Paced by a meet-high four individual titles, the PJP boys squad nearly doubled the score of their closest competitor, second-place Menard by a dominating 50-28 score. Northlake Christian rounded out the top three with a 26-point performance in the meet held at West Monroe High. Competition continues Friday with teams in Division III-3A and Division II-4A set to compete at WMHS.

“Our boys were just determined to come out and do their best today,” Pope John Paul coach Wayne Frederickson said. “This was the hardest our boys worked the entire season and it was for a state championship. We have won this the last two years in a row, but this year is totally different now that we are under the LHSAA. I told my team that they would always be remembered now as the first-ever state champion. It is something that they will remember.”

In the 132-pound weight class, Leon Duncan captured the individual title with Greg Cavalier capturing the 198-pound title, Christian O’Brian captured the 220-pound crown and Sean O’Brien was the 275-pound winner to help pace the Jaguars to the title. Cavalier was the outstanding lifter in the upper weight classes along with Dallas Swan of Northlake Christian, who represented the lower weight classes. Swan set a 148-pound weight class state record with a 545-pound squat.

The girls of Pope John Paul were more dominant as they swept through their Division IV meet outscoring second-place finisher Episcopal by a 73-28 score.

Paced by outstanding lifters Sarah Vogel and Dominque Bourgeois, the Lady Jaguars won every weight class with Blaike Lee Ordes capturing the 97-pound crown, Sophie Samples the 105-pound crown, Vogel winning the 114-pound crown, Marissa Nunez in the 123-pound class, Morgan Maples capturing the 132-pound crown, Brittany Chetta winning the 148-pound title, Hanna Park in the 165-pound class, Bourgeois in the 181-pound class and Lauren Demers in the 198-pound class. Vogel’s 145-pound bench press set a new state record in her weight class, helping pace the Jaguars to the state title.

“Our girls were unbelievable,” Frederickson said. “They work hard all year round. This is not just a seasonal thing for them. All summer long, they are working out and are begging me to get into the weight room. It is a team effort and it showed out there on Thursday. Sarah led us and we were glad that she had the chance to break that record. She deserves it because she works extremely hard.”

In Division V, Delhi outscored Archbishop Hannan 55-34. The Bears won six individual state titles as Titiuna Williams captured the 97-pound crown, Selisha Percy won the 132-pound title, Sherice Young won in the 148-pound class, Raven Wilson won in 181, Shquoa Robinson took home the 220-pound class and Dynesha Williams was the 220-plus winner and outstanding lifter along with Macy Peebles of Catholic-Pointe Coupee.

“It has been four years that I have had a freshman class that decided to stay together,” Delhi coach Jesse Esters said. “Six boys and eight girls decided to stay together and see through four years of competing. Today I feel like a proud father seeing their kids take their first steps. It was such a great thing to see everyone on both of my teams support each other throughout the meet and now they can call themselves a state champion.”

The Delhi boys squad used a balance effort to hold off Catholic-PC and Delhi Charter by claiming three individual state championships along with an important three state individual runners-up awards.

Jacquarious Tillery took home the 123-pound crown for Delhi along with Davious Thomas in the 181-pound class, and Raphael Washington in the 220-pound class.

Outstanding lifters in Division V boys were Justin Beach of Delhi Charter and Brock Rockforte from False River Academy.