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If the adage about championships being won in the weight room during the offseason rings true, the Grant County High School football team could be a serious contender for the district championship this fall following an offseason in the weight room that was capped by a second place showing in the inaugural Grant County Strongman Invitational.
"For this being the first time we hosted a competition, I thought it was a great event. Coach Eric Hermann did a great job, and we had some great individual performances. I am really pleased. It was great exposure for our school and our athletes, and it was a great experience," head coach Mike Davis said.
Hermann said the idea of hosting a meet came out of a conversation he had with Davis.
"Fund-raising is such a necessity for all sports. I simply suggested to Coach Davis a fundraiser that ties hand-in-hand to what football players do already—lifting weights in the offseason. There is no other event like this in Northern Kentucky, that I know of, for high school football teams, and you've got to go to Lexington to find the next closest weight meet. Plus, the kids love going to these events. It only makes sense to host one of our own," Hermann said.
He added that without the help of the visiting teams, sponsors, parents, coaches, cheerleaders and many others the event would not have been a success.
"There were so many people that had a hand in our success," Hermann said.
The Braves had two individuals win their respective weight classes during the competition.
Junior Daryl Hearn captured first place honors in the 155-pound division, as he completed a bench press of 210 pounds, a power clean of 190 pounds and a squat of 310 pounds. His bench press was a meet record for him.
Cory Beach earned first place honors in the heavyweight classification. The junior recorded a bench of 315 pounds, a power clean of 235 pounds and a squat of 425. His bench and squat lifts were meet records for him.
In addition to Beach and Hearn, three other Braves set meet records.
Seventh grader Nathan Davis set records on the bench press (115 pounds), squat (145 pounds) and power clean (115 pounds). Junior K.J. Little set a record in the bench press (310 pounds), and Matt MacAdams posted a record in the power clean (215 pounds).
Both Davis and Hermann said the goal for next year is to make the event bigger and better.
"I would like to see next year's event doubled. That is our goal for year two," Hermann said.