Starting a High School Powerlifting Team, Pt. 1

by Chris Dertz Planning and Considerations The year was 2016. My son, Eli, was in 8th grade. A multi-sport athlete, Eli had been working with athletic performance specialist Jeff Lyrenmann since the 4th grade. One day after we were done training, Jeff showed Eli a photograph from years before. In the photograph, a young Jeff…

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Strategies to Connect During the Pandemic

with Nicole Brinker, by Chris Dertz Nine months after first emerging in the United States, it is clear that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are both unprecedented and wide-ranging. The raw data is grim. Currently, 22,000,000 Americans have been infected with the virus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting…

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Will the Undefeated Big 10 Champs Miss the Playoff?

Texas A&M just beat Tennessee 34-13 to finish the SEC regular season with a record of 8-1. In his postgame interview, Jimbo Fisher made it clear that he believes the Aggies deserve a shot at the College Football Playoff. He has a point. The Aggies’ only loss was to the Alabama Crimson Tide, who has…

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Eastland Athletes Break 7 Records at Powerlifting Meet

by Chris Dertz The Powerlifting Team at Eastland High School in Lanark, Illinois is making a name for itself. Although it is a new sport at the school, and despite limited gym access, a few dedicated Cougars have found ways to compete… and they are excelling. The weekend of December 12th-13th, four members of the…

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Changing the Culture of Indiana Football

with Indiana University Head Football Coach Tom Allen On December 11, 2020, Tom Allen gave a keynote presentation at a virtual conference hosted by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association. His guiding thesis was something all coaches, regardless of sport, would benefit from understanding: Mindset drives expectations and beliefs. Indiana football had not been…

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Eastland Powerlifting Siblings Rack Up State, National, and World Records

By Chris Dertz Eastland High School senior Cadin Colehour and his sister Natalie, a freshman, overcame gym closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic to turn in impressive performances at a couple recent powerlifting meets. Training out of their basement in Lanark, the two teens are proud holders of newly-set state, national, and world records in…

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Texas H.S. Football Player Knocks Out Referee

Millions have seen the viral video of a high school defensive lineman from Texas clobbering the referee after being ejected from a football game. It is a signal that the “sports-gone-wrong” concern has yet to be resolved. While his name can be found all over the internet, we will keep it anonymous here. Check out…

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USA Weightlifting H.S. Throwdown Champions: New Trier (IL)

The post from USA Weightlifting reads, “Congratulations to the Strongest High School in America, New Trier (IL)!” The New Trier Trevians just won the USA Weightlifting High School Throwdown, a National competition that tests athletes in bench press, squat, and power clean. It is a virtual event, wherein students submit each of their lifts (as…

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3 Keys to Championship Culture with Coach Mike Hohensee

In the early morning, before the sun has baked the mist of night from the green expanse of Skokie playfields in Winnetka, Illinois, you can find Coach Mike Hohensee mentoring student athletes. He’s adjusting the technique of a talented young quarterback. He’s focused on footwork, posture, and the nuances of elite performance. The athletes he’s…

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“Powerlifters are Pot-Smokers”: the Issue with Sample Bias

It is human nature to jump to conclusions based on our experience. Though the bark of a dog or a baby’s cry could mean many things, the listener will experience an immediate reaction. If the initial reaction is that the dog is angry and the baby is hungry, they will be correct… occasionally. Experienced professionals…

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