Indians looking for repeat in 1A

Freed, Williams, Dicks top hopes in state lift chase

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 4/21/22

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - After a year of remembering that he was not in the rotation of the Keystone Heights High Class 1A state title run last year, Keystone Heights High’s Logan Williams not only has …

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Indians looking for repeat in 1A

Freed, Williams, Dicks top hopes in state lift chase

Posted

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS - After a year of remembering that he was not in the rotation of the Keystone Heights High Class 1A state title run last year, Keystone Heights High’s Logan Williams not only has some return to give his teammates, but also to fuel his ambition of that state title.

“Mission one, bring the state team title back,” said Williams, currently top-ranked in Class 1A at 169 pounds after his region title last week put him at a tough 600 pounds, just 20 points up on the runnerup; oh, yeah, Indian teammate Nate Tisdale, ironically. “I want to prove that I would have been on the podium last year.”

Williams, who missed last year due to a rodeo-induced injury to his leg, has been locked into his top-lift battle with a guy in his own weight room and that has fueled a good training partnership.

“Pretty nice to have the guy you are going to compete with at state for the title in the same room,” said Lantz Lowery, coach of the Indians boys, who was Boys Weightlifting coach of the year last year for Class 1A after storming the state with their championship effort with a surprise upset of Mount Dora off a final lift from Kaleb Vojnoski over Mount Dora’s Eddie Romero giving the Indians the team points to secure a 37-30 win over Mount Dora. “We have a few weight classes where the top five region guys and ranked guys are from here, but, like I have said before, anything can happen on that state day. Kaleb stepped up for us last year.”

Lowery though coyley optimistic of his troops knows the feeling of sending the top threats and returning home empty-handed.

“A few years back, all the top guys missed their opening lifts and it cost us dearly,” said Lowery. “We had a more formidable team back then, but it is a big, wide open arena in front of a lot of people and these are teenage boys remember.”

Lowery not only has the Williams/Tisdale combination as solid big-point duo, but in multiple weight classes are the Indians bringing more than one athete.

At 129, Wyatt VanZant, the runnerup by 10 pounds at 119 last year, returns with teammate Reid Begue as top six ranks; third and fifth to challenge, with the top six guys all between 400 and 450 pound totals. Top ranked Chase Zilcosky of South Sumter, with a 450 total, improved from last year’s state total of 395 for sixth to win his region title in 2022.

At 154, Ulysses Freed and Landon Hovesepian are region champion and region runnerup for Lowery; 535-525 totals, with the duo five pounds up on third-ranked Seth Moore of Hilliard.

Missing in the equation are state champions Zach Glover at 139 who missed his lifts at regions, and Kade Sanders, at 169, who has been injured.

“We just keep lifting,” said Lowery. “They know they have to step up at some point. Ulysses and Landon are new faces in the lineup to state.”

In the meat of Lowery’s lineup are the 154 and up dudes led by Williams and senior Tyler Jenkins on one end; second ranked at 183 but 90 pounds away from top ranked Quinn Raulerson of Union County, the defending 183 champion, and, anchored at the top end by Lowery’s big three; Caleb Moncrief (fourth at 219 last year), Mason Dicks (third last year at Unlimited/top two tied at 730, Dicks at 670) and Luke Snider (Top 10 at 580).

Moncrief, region champ at 238 and second ranked by 20 pounds to The Villages’ Ellis Poplaski, upped his total of 600 from last year to 640 at regions. Poplaski and Moncrief battled to a fourth and fifth last year at 219 with Moncrief up by 10 pounds; 600-590, so that battle will continue.

Next up is 219 where Trey Jeffries and Tyler Rozier have been stuck at the hip all season with Jeffries second and Rozier third with a 20 pound gap on fourth place state ranks and just 10 pounds off the top for Jeffries. Wyatt Butler of West Nassau, the defending 238 champion, is top ranked at 660 with Jeffries at 650. Jeffries is the more formidable clean and jerk technician with a 20 pound advantage while Butler is up in bench by about 40 pounds.

In the big boy class, Dicks, the region champion, and Bolles’ Brendan Black will be the show to end the show with both tied at 700 at regions, but Dicks weighing in lighter; 284.2-308.3, than Black. The same fate happened in last year’s state Unlimited class with 730 hoists by the top two lifters, but champion Colby Smith weighing in at just 268.20 while runnerup Markever Hunter of Marianna weighing in at 460.70. Dicks weighed just 271 last year with his 670 total.

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