After a 2-8 football season in 2005 that saw his team fail to make the playoffs, Pulaski County head football coach Johnny Hines vowed right then and there, that his team would get in the weight room, and work to not let that happen again.

Now, four months later, it looks as if the Maroons have heeded their coach’s advice, and have gotten busy with their off-season workouts.

PC sent 12 players to the Lexington Christian Gridiron Powerlifting Championships, held back on March 10th, and the Maroons more than held their own.

“Paul Rains started this competition at Lexington Christian Academy, I believe about five years ago,” noted Hines. “He started it, purely as a football team weightlifting competition, because we were all in the off season program at this time of the year anyway.”

“He designed it as a competition just for football teams to come to, but it has blossomed now into a an incredible competition,” pointed out the head PC football coach. “There were over 700 lifters there this time, from all over Central Kentucky. There’s really only three state lifting meets that call themselves a state championship meet. There is one at Central Hardin every year, and then there’s one at St. X, that has kind of fallen apart. That competition has kind of died out in recent years, and it seems like everyone has started coming to this one at L.C.A.”

Not only did PC have a good showing at the recent meet at L.C.A., but the Maroons actually brought home a state championship in one weight category, and that title hit pretty close to home for coach Hines.

Hines’ son, Winston, who will be a sophomore this fall for the Maroons, brought home the state championship in the 145-pound Jayvee Division.

Winston Hines did a total of 615 pounds at the event, by bench pressing 165 pounds, recording a clean lift of 180 pounds, and squatting 270 pounds.

Hines scored a 4.331 in the strength category, which was better than Hazard’s Dustin Miller, who finished second behind the PC freshman, with a strength score of 4.167.

“Winston thinks he can whip about anybody, and I guess he has his momma’s toughness,” laughed the PC coach, when talking about Winston’s state title.

“He’s worked extremely hard, and I’m really proud of him,” added Hines. “I know last year when we went to this competition, he wasn’t able to go because the baseball season had already started. I remember him looking at the results in his weight class, and he looked at me and said he thought he could win that. So, he had kind of been motivated by that for a long time.”

Hines becomes the fourth PC football player to win such an award at a state weightlifting event, since his father Johnny, has been involved with the Maroon football program as a coach.

In 1997 Jon Wilburn pulled off the feat, with Johnathan Purcell following up Wilburn’s title with one of his own the very next year, in 1998.

Tyler Todd won his weight class in 2004, so Hines makes the fourth state title winner in the PC football program over the years, and that makes coach Hines, a very proud and happy football coach.

“We’ve had three other players that have been an individual state champion in the years that I’ve been here,” Hines noted. “Jon Wilburn in ‘97, Johnathan Purcell in ‘98, and Tyler Todd in ‘04, so Winston is the fourth individual state champion that we’ve had.”

“We’ve had a lot of kids that have scored in the top five in their category in year’s past,” added Hines. “I know Tyler Sexton finished second in his weight class in his senior year by five or 10 pounds, and Blake Gumm and Cody Warren each scored high in their weight classes. Phillip Neikirk of course this year, was third in his weight class, and almost won a state championship. But, I must qualify all of that by saying this. We don’t train in the weightroom to win weightlifting competitions. There are a lot of schools that do. We don’t do that. We train purely to try to improve our athletic performance and stay away from injury.”

Other Pulaski players that went to the L.C.A. event and how they finished in their respective weight classes are as follows:

Heavyweight Division—Perry Neikirk—19th place—815 pounds

Varsity 250 Pound Weight Class—Perry Neikirk—3rd Place—955 pounds

Varsity 250 Pound Weight Class—Lukus Mofield—10th Place—795 pounds

Varsity 235 Pound Weight Class—Jordan Dye—11th Place—820 pounds

Varsity 235 Pound Weight Class—Cody Warren—14th Place—780 pounds

Varsity 220 Pound Weight Class—Ethan Phillips—13th Place—685 pounds

Varsity 220 Pound Weight Class—Jonathan Vacek—14th Place—665 pounds

Varsity 195 Pound Weight Class—Jordan Gilliam—8th Place—795 pounds

Varsity 195 Pound Weight Class—Brian Bullock—14th Place—720 pounds

Varsity 195 Pound Weight Class—Gary Oliver—16th Place—650 pounds

Varsity 165 Pound Weight Class—Zach DeCross—16th Place—700 pounds

From the looks of things, the Maroons are indeed, getting the job done in the weightroom during the off season.

Pulaski County will hold its annual, Maroon-White spring football game on Saturday afternoon, April 8th, beginning at 3 p.m.

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