PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla-The Arnold Marlin weightlifting team is getting ready for a shot at a state championship. The Marlins are undefeated in over 5 years of regular season competition, and they're hoping that experience helps them bring home a state championship trophy this season.
"It feels really good knowing we haven't lost a regular season meet, and I helped to do that all four years," Senior Joel Ensminger said. "It means alot to keep the streak going for Arnold High School."
A streak like this gives the team a lot of confidence and pride.
"Yea it they want to keep the streak alive," Head Coach Billy Thomas said. "They expect to win every meet. I don't even think they believe they will lose."
Last year the Marlins were the favorite to win the state championship but they came up just one point short.
"They saw how bad it hurt to make that ride home when we didn't win it," Thomas added.
That heart-breaking loss has served as the teams motivation this year.
Thomas said, "They knew that was motivation in itself to make them work harder all year round."
Ensminger added, "On the way home, I did win an individual state championship, but it was hard to be excited about that because I wanted that team championship so bad. We haven't stopped working hard ever since that day."
Each lifter will have to hit their marks, and have a little bit help from the other teams, but just like always a state championship is the goal.
"Winning a state championship that's really what it comes down to, we want to win state," said Ensminger.
The state championship competition begins on April 15th. Arnold has been the runner-up the last three years.