The Iron Wolves, the Saint Paul’s powerlifting team, clinched the state championship for the second consecutive year, snatching the title from the West Monroe Rebels by an impressive 11 points.
The Iron Wolves set a state record for individual champions with five athletes: Blake Ricalde, David Thompson, Marc Reagan, Gustavo Garcia, and Reuben Faust. Reagan repeated as an individual state champ and broke the state record for
total weight lifted. With a 340 lb. bench press, Ricalde also broke a state
record, and is also the first three-time state champion in school history.
In addition to team accolades, Head Coach Jesse Kellum was named the Coach of the Year for 5A.
“Our head coach is a great leader,” notes Assistant Coach Joe Dickens. “He holds many world records in the sport, and he does a great job designing the workouts and coaching the kids. SPS is lucky to have a world renown powerlifter leading our program.”
The coaching staff also attributes the team’s success to the senior leadership.
“This team was led by seniors who have trained indefatigably for four years to achieve their goals individually and as a team. Their work ethic was extraordinary. When you combine that with natural talent that they possess, success becomes inevitable,” said Dickens.
Dickens also noted the level of camaraderie within the group, stating, “I also think we are a solid team because the lifters enjoy each others’ company and are extremely competitive with each other. Being able to laugh and work hard while competing makes arduous practices not only tolerable but also enjoyable.”
Blake Ricalde–148lbs–state champion
David Thompson–165lbs–state champion
Marc Reagan–181lbs–state champion
Gustavo Garcia–220lbs–state champion
Reuben Faust–275lbs–state champion