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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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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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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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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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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“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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Tom Sroka: Giving Back to the Barbell

In the newest episode of “Coffee with a Coach,” Jim sat down with Tom Sroka. Tom is an elite athlete, competing at a world-class level in the Olympic weightlifting, Highland Games, and pretty much anything that requires strength and power. Tom owns and operates The Strength Agenda, a gym located in Villa Park, IL that…

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