Murphy

Port Allen's Raven Murphy returns for her senior season as part of the powerlifting squad.

Success is addictive, and the Port Allen girls powerlifting team is ready for more.

The Lady Pelicans enter the 2021 season on the heels of their eighth state title last year in Monroe, and 15-year head coach Brian Bizette believes his team has what it takes to bring home another championship.

“This is one of the top teams I’ve coached since I started here in 2006,” he said.  “They’re one of the best for being so young and so good, and we have freshmen turning numbers that seniors haven’t turned.”

Seniors on the squad include Alexis Alford who won the state title in the 165-pound. division last season, along with Sulma Damaja in the 97-pound division. weight class and Raven Murphy, a runner-up in the 123-pound. class. 

Bizette also has high hopes for returnees Ali Thompson, Isabella Newchurch, Jaelyn Netters and Kierra Talley. 

“All around, this is probably the best strength team in terms of numbers that I’ve ever coached, even better than the 2020 team that would’ve won by 20 points,” Bizette said. “This team has a chance to do something that has never been done in powerlifting -- scoring a perfect meet. The only reason we can’t is because we’re not quite there in one or two classes, but we could have as many as 12 state records.”

He expects the biggest challenges to come from established programs such as West Monroe, Lutcher, Pope John Paul II and Alexander Senior High School.

“All of those programs were established way before ours, except for Lutcher,” Bizette said. “They all have a good system, but we’re not far behind them.”

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