Fort Dale powerlifters achieve State Champion title

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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Fort Dale Academy students took home the division 3A Powerlifting State Champion trophy for the second time in six months, at the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Powerlifting meet in Carrolton on July 25. 

The group of 10 students, three girls and seven boys, walked away from the competition with 14 individual awards.

Fort Dale head football coach and athletic director, Eric Folmar, explained that most of the participants are involved in multiple sports at Fort Dale and weightlifting is already a big part of their training regimen. 

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“We have close to 160 athletes that are in our weight room every day,” Folmar said. “We’re big on the development of our athletes. The best way to do that is in the weight room, so we work really hard with all of our students and take a lot of pride in it. To be able to win this title and have some recognition for that hard work is important for our kids.”

Each student weighed in and was placed in a particular weight class to compete, explained Folmar. There were around 16 weight classes and close to 25 competing schools present. 

The following Fort Dale athletes earned individual awards:

  • Megan Chen achieved Women’s Overall Lifter, First in Class, Women’s Best Squat, and Women’s Overall Middle Weightlifter;
  • Jon Nolan Lawrence was awarded First in Class and Most Overall Weight Lifter;
  • Gray Thomas won First in Class and Men’s Overall Lifter;
  • Clay Gardner earned First in Class;
  • Mason Till won First in Class;
  • Lausen Simmons was awarded Second in Class;
  • Grace Baker won Second in Class;
  • Joseph Ealum earned Second in Class; and
  • Asher Young was awarded Fourth in Class.

“It just feels good to finally see the results of the work we put in,” Thomas said. “I just want to thank my family, coaches and team for showing up to support me.”

The student athletes have weight training three days a week, year around, said Folmar. 

“The training in the weight room is the most important thing that we do, and everything else will come off of that,” Folmar said. “Our sports at Fort Dale have progressed in the past two and half years and I think that’s a direct result of our work in the weight room.”

Folmar said their goal for the next meet in February is to have close to 40 student participants, and achieve the AISA Powerlifting Overall State Championship title. 

“I’m thankful for the students and their hard work ethic,” Folmar said. “All of our coaches involved are in there everyday pushing them to achieve those goals, and I’m grateful.”