Lutcher High builds powerlifting dynasty

LUTCHER, LA (WAFB) - It's not unusual to hear grunt and groans coming from a high school weight room, but shrieks and giggles?

At Lutcher High School, that's exactly what you'll find every afternoon.  It's the training room for the five-time girls powerlifting state champion Lady Bulldogs.  Husband and wife coaching team Jon and Kelly Magendie are building a dynasty on the muscle of some very strong girls.

"Most people think it's just for boys, but girls can do it too,"  says freshman lifter China Storks.  She and freshman Destiny Walker are in their first year of high school, and are already competing for their second state title.

"Most people think just because I'm small that I can't do much," says the 114-pound Walker.  At the regional meet earlier this month, she deadlifted 305 pounds to win the title in her weight class.

To Coach Kelly Magendie, the sport is as much about discipline and commitment as it is about strength.  "We don't let them quit," she said.  "Sometimes we have to play mental tricks on them, like load the bar when they're not looking. Put something on there that they thought they couldn't do."

And the training is paying off.  At regionals, Stork deadlifted 440 pounds – more than any other girl in the state has ever lifted.  She hopes to break her own record at the state meet March 31st.

All that work has even earned the admiration of the Bulldog football team that works out on the other side of the weight room.

Personal accomplishments aside, the Magendies say they're most proud of what the team has accomplished this year.  Last year, the Lady Bulldogs graduated six seniors from their 11-member team.  This year's team is made of a four juniors, a couple sophomores, and five freshmen.  After a tie with Pope John Paul II High School of Slidell at regionals, the Lady Bulldogs won on the tie-breaker – they had the most first place finishes.

Since the Magendies took over the program six years ago, the Lady Bulldogs are 4-1 at regionals.  Every girl who has ever lifted in the regional meet has qualified for state.  And they are 5-0 at the state meet.  This year, all eleven lifters have also qualified to lift in national competition.

The Lady Bulldogs compete for their sixth consecutive state powerlifting championship March 31 in Alexandria.