The “Power” of Service-Learning

Powerlifting can be a hyper-individualized sport. The push for individual improvement is an essential component of the experience. When it goes wrong (too much focus on oneself), it can lead to self-obsession, obsessive compulsions, and narcissism. When it goes well, however, it can be one of the most powerful learning opportunities in all of sport.…

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USAW HS Throwdown 3-Peat

“A 3-Peat means a lot to Chicago sports fans,” jokes Jim Davis, long-time coach at New Trier High School (Winnetka, IL), “though I don’t think any of our students were alive when Jordan and the Bulls pulled it off!” Most of the team has seen The Last Dance, however, so the novelty was not lost.…

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“Scary Strong” Creatures Sighted in Northfield, IL

By Chris Dertz A day before Halloween, monstrous feats of strength were on display at New Trier High School (Northfield, IL) at the Illinois High School Powerlifting Association (IHSPLA) “Scary Strong” regional meet…. a unique, outdoor event. Approximately 40 lifters representing Sandburg, New Trier, Eastland, Waukegan, and Mundelein high schools gathered on a beautiful fall…

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H.S. Powerlifters Get Under The Bar at the 2021 IHSPLA State Meet

By Chris Dertz High school sports are one of the many aspects of traditional American culture that was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. While most athletes were eventually able to compete in their chosen sports during the 2020-2021 school year, the seasons were shortened and held in unusual months. Jim Davis, the director of the…

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2021 USA Weightlifting H.S. Throwdown Champions: New Trier (IL)

The New Trier Trevians have done it again. For the second year in a row, Trevian lifters competed in the USA Weightlifting High School Throwdown, a competition that draws athletes from all over the nation. For the second time in a row, they won.

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Presence Creates Possibility

On November 28 2020, Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game. Two weeks later, she kicked a field goal for the Commodores, becoming the first woman to score in a Power 5 football game. In the course of two weeks, Sarah Fuller had made her mark on football history.

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Aaron Willits: Knox College Football

Aaron Willits, the newly appointed Head Football Coach at Knox College (Galesburg, IL), says that the Hulk image is not only a talking point with players, but serves as important metaphor for the Knox athlete. “It represents the ideal Knox football player,” says Willits. “You have to have some of Professor Banner in you to get into a school of this quality, and to succeed in the classroom,” he says, noting that “you also have to be able to flip the switch come game day and let the Hulk come out.” It is a metaphor for balance.

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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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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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