Wright Highlights Evening
By Squatting 600 Pounds
BY TATE RUSSELL
GREENEVILLE - In front of hundreds of fans who were gathered in Greeneville High School's Gymnasium, Nic Wright became the first athlete at the school to ever squat 600 pounds as the football program hosted its first-ever Night of Champions.
The event marked the end of Greeneville's June workout period and allowed the coaching staff to gauge players' progress since offseason strength and conditioning began in December.
"It's a huge accomplishment, it really is," Wright said. "I have to give it all to the weight lifting program we have during the year. Without it, I would never have been able to do that. Six-hundred pounds is a number that has always been there. I squatted 475 as a freshman and so it's something I thought I could do and I was just glad I was able to get there today."
Greeneville coach Caine Ballard said, "I thought tonight went real well. It was great to have the fans and community come out and support these guys. There were a lot of new highs set and broken records achieved in the weight room tonight."
Ballard and Wright both thought the senior defensive lineman might have had a few more pounds in him to push the school record even further upward but they felt it was best to play it safe heading into the two-week dead period mandated by the TSSAA.
"I think I had about 10 or 15 more pounds in me but coach put the brakes on me," Wright noted. "He said I did enough for tonight."
The Greeneville football team always does its testing at the end of June when the heavy lifting and conditioning-intensive portion of their offseason ends and they move toward on-field work, but this year they were excited to get the fans involved for the first time.
"I think with the records and things that were broken that the crowd brought the kids to a different level," Ballard said. "It was like a Friday night with the stands full and everybody excited about what's going on it motivated them a little more."
The night began with the conclusion of the Greene Devil's youth camp before the football team showcased its squatting and cleaning abilities. Afterward, the athletes traveled outside where they ran shuttles, competed in relays, and challenged each other in the tug-of-war.
Other standouts on the evening were Trevor Wright, who hang cleaned 275 lbs., and Jake Sell who hang cleaned 335 lbs., both of which were personal bests. Freshman Jamison Miller squatted 415 lbs. while junior linebacker Drew Patterson set a personal best by power cleaning 265 lbs.
Now the Devils will take two weeks off and when they come back they will begin to add actual football drills their offseason repertoire when workouts resume in July.