Chargers’ Brock is Iron Man of annual WHS Lift-A-Thon
Joey Guest – Special to the Weakley County Press
Said one Westview cheerleader to her friends: “They could lift, like, three of us!”
Actually, it’s probably closer to four.
Upcoming senior lineman Zach Brock, listed on last season’s roster as 6-1, 253 pounds, took top honors with a bench press of 380 pounds, while quarterback Tanner Spencer, a 6-2, 212-pound junior last season, turned heads with a lift of 330 pounds.
Westview coach Don Coady, who will enter his 20th season at the helm of the Chargers this fall, explained the purpose of the event:
“It’s a two-fold purpose: one, it’s one of our offseason tests so that we can judge upper body strength; two, we do it in a public forum so we can use it as a fund-raiser for the team. I think this is the 20th year we’ve done it, and it’s been well-supported in the community and very successful, and I think we had another good night tonight,” Coady said.
Although the final tally won’t be known for a few days, the donations and sponsorships promised prior to the event suggest it was a good night for Westview football, which typically shoots for $10,000 to $12,000 for this fund-raiser.
Although fan support for one of the most successful programs in West Tennessee is not usually an issue, certain factors, such as weather, can hinder the amount of revenue generated on a normal Charger football Friday night. Thus, a fund-raiser such as the Lift-A-Thon helps offset some of the team’s expenses.
“Our sport is self-supporting in that our only source of revenue is what we get through the gate (through ticket sales and concessions),” Coady said. “Frankly, even though we generally have some good gates, we have to be prepared for some lean years, like this past year when we had six games with rain. So, we supplement our revenue this way with a fund-raiser. A lot of the kids’ personal stuff, such as shoes, shorts, T-shirts, sweats and equipment come out of the Lift-A-Thon money.”
Other expenses helped covered by the fund-raiser include travel arrangements, such as chartered buses and meals on the road, among others.
“Most of it goes directly back to the kids, either in terms of their personal stuff or things they’re going to need to play football,” Coady said.
One thing money can’t buy is strength, but effort and dedication paid off for Brock with his high max of 380 pounds.
“Zach’s been a strong kid since he came here,” Coady said. “He’s a real hard-working kid, so his strength has steadily gone up in the four years while he’s been here.”
Coady was equally excited about his Chargers’ overall team strength.
“People always look at the high max and that stuff. But that 240- to 300-pound range, those are strong high school kids, and we had a ton of kids finish in there this year. That’s encouraging in terms of overall team strength.”
Perhaps the most eye-popping performance of the night was from, of all players, a quarterback.
Upcoming senior Tanner Spencer, who had a brilliant junior campaign as a signal caller, wowed the crowd with a max bench press of 320 pounds, better than many of his blockers.
“Tanner is a big, strong kid,” Coady said. “I keep teasing him about moving him to lineman all the time. He’s done a good job of developing a big, strong body. I think he ought to have a really good year. And, I think a lot of our kids ought to have a really good year.”
The Chargers finished with a deceptive 7-5 record last season. Westview lost its first four before rattling off seven straight wins to reach the third round of the playoffs, where the Chargers fell at Camden, 20-17.
Westview is planning on starting spring drills around the last week of April.
Editor’s Note: Joey Guest is a free-lance writer and associate editor of Pressbox1.com. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 731-332-1164.