For The Tribune

Dalton Miller said he prefers the power clean, while Jared Whipker said his favorite lift is the bench.

Those two incoming seniors were among the 50 Seymour football players who participated in the Lift-A-Thon on Thursday night in the auxiliary gym at Seymour High School.

“This is basically is for every kid in our program with the exception of the incoming freshmen, and none of the current seniors,” head coach Josh Shattuck said. “Between what we’re doing after school and before school with weights, and what’s going on in those strength classes, this is just a good night to showcase our gains to the community.

“I think the community being here, just having all our kids here really adds an element to it that allows our kids to add that extra bit of motivation to that extra effort or boost of energy to kind of perform better.”

The bench and clean were conducted in the gym, while the squat was conducted before school Thursday in the weight room at the stadium.

“We’re right at a week where basketball just ended, baseball doesn’t start until Monday, so we’re at a perfect time to kind of do this,” Shattuck said. “We’ve kind of been in the shadows, and rightfully so. During the winter time kind of quietly getting work done, and this was a good way to showcase that, and right before spring break was a good, natural time to test.”

Miller started at center and nose, while Whipker played at guard last fall.

Whipker said, “We’re here at our own school and getting a look at freshmen all the way up to seniors. I just like how the energy is tonight and how it keeps going.”

He said in power lift he lifted 225 and on bench he did 260.

“I just like the bench for no particular reason,” Whipker said. “I just want to get stronger and help my teammates get better. I just want to keep progressing.

“My goal for this fall is for us to succeed a whole lot more than we did last year and continue on, to win the sectional championship and to move further on in the tournament. We all need to work hard and just doing the little things.”

The coaches took 35 players to a lift at Columbus East this past Monday to compete against three other Hoosier Hills Conference schools in the power clean, bench and squat, plus some of them ran 40-yard dashes.

“We had the same lifts, bench, squat clean,” Shattuck said. “They added the 40 to kind of thin out the groups to not make them so large. We got after it so that was good for us. We set some personal records and got to see some other teams. You measure yourself to them and that’s a good thing. It gives you confidence where you need it, and gives you a realistic ability where you need to get better, and that’s really good against young teams you’re going to go out there and do battle against in the fall.”

During the school year, the football players take a weight class.

“Those weight classes are very important,” Miller said. “I feel without those weight classes we wouldn’t see the big improvements we have today.

“Along with the football after school, it all meshes together to build the perfect program here at Seymour and we’re a team on the rise for sure.”

Miller said in the power clean a year ago he could lift 215 pounds and now he is up to 245.

The Owls will have a lifting competition at New Palestine at the end of the school year.

“Football is such a year-around thing when it comes to the strength training,” Shattuck said. “We don’t do a ton of stuff in the offseason with skill work. We try to focus on just making their bodies as strong, fast, quick, agile, and athletic as possible.

“And then we feel very strongly, between summer and the season, we can teach them the skills, but if they have all sorts of skills but no athleticism, no strength, then those skills are not as applicable to the field. The offseason is a good time to build their strength and when we hit the ground with the skills then they’re just better athletes than they were the year before.”

Shattuck said in the summer the players have workouts three days a week.

Reach Cavanaugh placed first by lifting 1,020 pounds in the three lifts. Zach Carpenter was second with 903, and Todd Kiewitt was third with 880.

Heavy lifters

Lift results (top 5):

Squat: Reace Cavanaugh 475, John Barrett 455, Zach Carpenter 405, Todd Kiewitt 400, Gavin Blanton 375.

Bench: Carpenter 300, Cavanaugh 290, Jarrod Whipker 260, Dalton Miller 255, Jackson Morris 250, Tanner Kimble 250.

Power clean: Cailen Sheppard 255, Cavanaugh 255, Morris 255, Kiewitt 245, Nick Richert 245.

Total: Cavanaugh 1,020, Carpenter 930, Kiewitt 880, Morris 850, John Barrett 835.