The Port Allen girls powerlifting team heads on the road today and Friday, but they hope to go a greater distance in terms of competition.
The Lady Pelicans head to Alexandria for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 2A powerlifting championships at Rapides Parish Coliseum.
The meet is familiar territory for the Lady Pelicans, who have won eight state titles under head coach Brian Bizette. Even in the years they came up short in the championship quest, they finished among the top three in the state.
Unlike other seasons, the Lady Pelicans do not have the senior-laden squad that made them a dominant force. Instead, they have a group of ambitious freshmen and sophomores who have used strong work ethic to make a name for themselves.
Port Allen aims to defy odds against top contenders which include Pope John Paul II, Northlake Christian and Calvary Baptist.
“On paper, I have us finishing second or third, but we’re going to be very much in contention,” Bizette said. “Our girls will have to put forth their best showing of the season, but I believe they can do it.”
Two seniors will be among the top contenders in the meet.
Rickia Leonard, a lifter in the super heavyweight, will be one of the dominant forces on the squad as one of the top lifters in her division statewide.
Along with Emily Nichols, who will compete in the 198-lb. division, along with teammate Destiny Winfield, who is in the same classification.
Potential isn’t limited to seniors. Sophomore Summer Frank could emerge as one of the top lifters for the squad.
Alyssa Springer could also figure strongly into the mix, along with Raven Murphy.
First-year lifter Angel Veal has also made strides this season, along with Jalacia Grievous and Summer Frank.
“We will be facing some strong teams last year, but I have confidence in our team,” he said. “The sky is the limit if we work hard enough.”