Arnold earns high praise as state championship host

Published: Apr. 9, 2018 at 12:07 AM CDT
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As Arnold resumes school Monday morning, the Marlin Athletic Center returns to its standard role as a basketball gym.

Friday and Saturday, "The MAC" was transformed and packed shoulder-to-shoulder for the FHSAA boys weightlifting state championships. The event is being considered a success for a few reasons.

39 athletes from our area qualified. Among the local medalists, Arnold's Dylan Gandy and Caleb Cortez earned medals.

Organizationally, the FHSAA and school representatives are pleased with the school's performance organizationally.

"People come up and saw 'wow, we didn't know this place was this pretty.' And that's awesome," Arnold athletic director Rick Green said.

"Everywhere we go, when our staff goes out to eat even, people see our shirts. They say 'oh, you guys are here for the event.' They're excited to have us," added FHSAA associate athletic director Justin Harrison added. "The city really brought us in with open arms and everybody is having a tremendous time because of the community."

Just like the girls championship hosted by Arnold in February, the events ran smoothly, something which caught the eye of 26 year state meet veteran Bobby Johns.

"They've done an outstanding job," the FHSAA technical controller and Wewahitchka weightlifting coach said. "They learned a lot of things and we did as a staff putting it together between the girls meet and the boys meet. The coaches have done a really good job helping us out, and then the hospitality here has been really good. They've done a really good job."

The state weightlifting championships were previously held in Kissimmee. Both the girls and boys competitions will be held at Arnold in 2019 as well.