ALEXANDRIA — It was a nip and tuck race between St. Paul’s, Holy Cross, Slidell and Covington for the runner-up spot in Division I at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boy’s State Powerlifting Meet Saturday.
Just four points separated the schools, but in the end it was St. Paul’s holding the runner-up trophy with 23 points, finishing just one point ahead of Holy Cross while Slidell and Covington took fifth and sixth places with 19 points each. Alexandria Senior High won the division with 37 points.
“We have a serious rivalry with Covington,” said St. Paul’s coach Jesse Kellum. “We’re friends, so it’s a friendly but a heated rivalry.”
The win was especially gratifying for Kellum as his son, Joshua, captured the state championship in the 123-pound weight class in Division I.
“My son is the first 8th grader to win a 5A state championship,” Kellum said. “I had five seniors, who I have worked with for four years or more and my son competed as an eighth-grader, so this year was really fun.”
“It runs in the family,” Joshua Kellum said of his win. His father is a 10-time world champion and his brothers also have earned state championships. “It’s fun — I have great coaches,” Joshua said.
The back and forth battle between the four area schools in Division I was a highlight of the day that saw champions crowned in Division I (5A schools), Division IV (2A schools) and Division V (1A and class A, B, and C schools). Calvary Baptist earned the Division IV title with Winnfield runner-up while Delhi earned the Division V crown with Cedar Creek runner-up.
Holy Cross’s Ahmad Coleman won the state championship in the 132-pound weight class and was selected as the Most Outstanding Lightweight lifter in Division I while Declan Lockwood of Northlake Christian captured the state championship in the 165-pound weight class and was the Most Outstanding Lightweight lifter in Division IV.
Other area state champions in Division I include Philip Nicaud of St. Paul’s in the 165-pound weight class, Colby Wilson of Slidell in the 148-pound weight class, Alex Davis of Holy Cross in the 181-pound weight class, and Jason Toups of St. Paul’s in the 275-pound weight class. In Division IV, Gabe Palermo of Pope John Paul won the 132-pound championship.
Outstanding Lifters in boys’ competition Saturday were:
• Division I, Lightweight Ahmad Coleman of Holy Cross and Heavyweight Hayden Willis of Dutchtown
• Division IV, Lightweight Declan Lockwood of Northlake Christian and Heavyweight Philip Legeler of Calvary Baptist
• Division V, Lightweight Launey of Sacred Heart Ville Platte and Heavyweight Matthew Thibodaux of St. Mary’s Catholic
Saturday’s action concluded a three-day tournament at the Rapides Parish Coliseum that saw nearly 1,000 student athletes compete for team and individual titles. Officials estimate total attendance for the event was 2,525, which was 125 more than the previous year.