Wewahitchka and Port St. Joe combine to host State Weightlifting Meet

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:05 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Craig Coliseum on the Port St. Joe campus is once again set to host the state’s strongest! The folks at Port St. Joe, in conjunction with the folks at Wewahitcha High School and folks all around Gulf County, getting set to host the 2022 Boys State Weightlifting meet for a second straight year! With three separate meets Thursday, for the 3A class, Friday for the 2A class, and Saturday for the 1A class.

“We’re ready to go.” says Wewahitchka Athletic Director Bobby Johns. “We’ve been trying to get set up and ready to go. We are very fortunate that we hosted the regionals here first. And were able to leave everything set up after regionals, that was really awesome for us. So our set up has been a lot better than it has been in the past. And we’ve got schools coming in here and just a few hours getting ready to weigh in.”

“Our ROTC program here at Port Saint Joe has worked their tails off this year.” adds Port St. Joe A.D. Tanner Jones. “And work these three days of this meet. Our students, not just our athletes, but our students have helped set up the platforms. They’ve moved weights, they’ve moved benches, they’ve wiped down tables and chairs. Just the whole school has put in a lot of work for this and hopefully when it’s all said and done it’s going to benefit the whole county.”

Having hosted the 1A and 2A State Meets last year, girls and boys, and then the girls meet again last month, well that experience is paying off this time around.

“When we first did it the very first time I was the only one with any experience.” says coach Johns. “And hosting these. And now do you know when I showed up this morning, at 8 o’clock my time, which is 9:00 Saint Joe time, they had almost everything set up already. And so that’s what’s made it a ton easier, you know the folks down here Tanner, Coach Browning and those guys, they know what we’re doing already. So they don’t have to wait on me.”

As for coach Jones and his collective team at Port St. Joe, they feel ready to go! “Definitely a little bit of excitement. We were has a lot of leftovers, that are going to compete in it. We have seven here at Port Saint Joe that are going to compete. So we are excited about our numbers. And excited again that our community, the surrounding communities get to come and watch it.”

And those lifters from within Gulf County, and the many schools in the nearby counties, that will be sending lifters to State, well it’s nice to have some geographical advantage for this event.

“I think it gives their fan base a chance to come and watch it.” says coach Jones. “You know so they’re not driving six or seven hours, like we’ve done in the past. What it also does is it helps them save money. On hotel rooms, gas per diem for the food. And again it brings communities closer, that are around here. And save money in the long run.”

Says coach Johns “One thing that I continually say to people when they complain about you know having to come all the way out here is, this is the only sport that our kids don’t have to travel 3,4,5, 6 hours. Whatever it might be. And a lot of other places have that advantage and we don’t. For us it’s really nice, for the schools around this area it’s really nice.”

The 3A Meet gets under way Thursday at 9 eastern time.

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