It was first class all the way. From the superb organization to the matching T-shirts to the very striking “Massillon” embossed weight equipment to the enthusiasm generated by both the lifters and the crowd, which counted a good number of parents and boosters urging on their favorites. Even OSU’s Thayer Munford paid a visit. Such was the atmosphere at the 2019 Steve Studer Memorial Lift-a-thon. And the effort put forth by the lifters was something to behold.
Two lifts were performed by each participant, first a bench press and then a squat. Each lifter selected his preferred weight for each lift and then attempted as many lifts as he could until his arms or legs gave out. A composite score was then used to determine the winner of each weight class based on total weight lifted and the number of reps. It became obvious right from the start that most were going for personal bests and striving to win one of the coveted awards. “They don’t like to lose,” beamed Tiger Head Football Coach Nate Moore, who strutted around the gym looking like the proverbial cat that swallowed the canary. He couldn’t be prouder of his troops.
The event was managed by several assistant football coaches, headed for the first time by Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Studer. “It was my first one running it,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve been a part of it for a couple of years. But it’s the first time I’ve been able to come back and run it that way I want to run it. I’m really happy with it. Our kids are working their butts off and they moved some really good weight today. We’ve had a great strength program for a long time. It’s not like I’m really bringing that much to the table. But now that I’m a part of it and being able to run it and put my stamp on it, it means a little bit more. And every year it’s a great event. I’m really proud of our kids. They work really hard. And I’m glad they get an opportunity to display that.”