ALEXANDRIA — After a near-miss in 2018, Sacred Heart of Ville Platte senior Wesley Launey had one last shot at being one of the best lifters in the state.
The 136-pounder made the most of his opportunity, earning the state championship in the 165-pound weight class, setting a new divisional record in the deadlift and being selected as the Most Outstanding Lightweight lifter in Division V at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boy’s State Powerlifting Meet Saturday.
The quarterback of his high school football team, Launey got started with weightlifting in football.
“I had it last year going into my last deadlift, and I dropped the bar and was disqualified,” Launey said after receiving his awards. “I lift a lot for football and had some buddies who lifted, so we got a team started. It’s great being together with the team and watching each other improve. It’s pretty awesome to see how these guys grow.”
Launey’s performance 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). Alexandria Senior High was the Division I champion with St. Paul’s finishing as runner-up. Calvary Baptist earned the Division IV title with Winnfield runner-up while Delhi earned the Division V crown with Cedar Creek runner-up.
In addition to Launey, who plans to attend the Air Force Academy after graduation, Sacred Heart’s Dylan Vidrine earned the state championship in the 132-pound weight class. In Division IV, Jakailan Fontenot of Ville Platte took first place in the 114-pound class, Quincy Bias of Ville Platte won the 242-pound weight class titl, and Travian Ardoin of Ville Platte won the 275-pound weight class.
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 Wesley 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.