By Kris Freeman for The White House Tribune
WHITE HOUSE — The White House High School Lift-a-Thon was a huge success last Friday night as the Blue Devils prepare for the spring football practice season just around the corner.
Held annually in The Burr Building at WHHS, the indoor practice facility for the Blue Devils, the event showcased the offseason workout program with approximately 60 players participating, minus the football players who are in other spring sports. Money collected goes back to White House High School tagged for the football program.
“It was a good night for our program,” said White House head coach Jeff Porter. “We had about 60 kids participating and still have several playing spring sports, but we had no injuries and a great night with about 150-200 people in attendance to support our kids.
“We really would like to get our weight equipment cleaned up and repainted and this provided us with an opportunity to work toward it.”
For varsity, three players took honors for the power ratio award in their respective class. The fullbacks/linebackers ran away with the class awards as incoming senior Taylor Wood, junior Troy Raymond and sophomore Austin Grissom. The power ratio is the total weight lifted in four categories divided by the total body weight of the participant. There were also awards issued to incoming freshmen.
Senior lineman Nate Nowicki’s 445-pound squat was the top weight lift of the night while senior offensive and defensive lineman Wyatt Bailey topped the incline at 280 pounds. Senior fullback/linebacker Lane Spivey held the top bench press at 290 pounds and senior tight end/defensive end Wesley James held the spot for power clean at 260.
White House opens spring practice today with full-contact scrimmages scheduled with Gallatin May 3, and Macon County May 7. Spring practice is 10 days of practice time on the field in full contact plus two scrimmages over a three-week period. White House is coming off a District 9-AA championship and returns three starters on offense and five on defense.
“The good thing about spring is that with the other sports, this gives us an opportunity to spend more individual time with many players, and usually spring is a time for us to build depth,” Porter said. “But this year, spring is wide open. We lost a lot of kids to graduation and we have a lot of spots to fill so we are going into this spring trying to identify possible starters in the fall.”
Among those positions are an award-winning kicker, tailback and offensive and defensive line, which produced three athletes to sign college football scholarships and left four holes in the offensive trenches including long snapper.
“The whole aspect of everything this spring is wide open and that makes it more fun for the kids,” Porter explained. “Whether that excitement is present on the field with the kids, we will have to wait and see but I look forward to seeing what happens as we have many kids battling for positions.”
Following spring practice, the Blue Devils will have a month or so or running and lifting before a two-week dead period in late June and early July. After the dead period ends, full summer practices will begin in the mid-July heat to prepare for an August season kickoff.
The weather is an ally currently as spring temperatures have been mild.
“It has not reached the point where temperatures will be an issue,” Porter said. “Spring practices are not as long, most are about two hours and 10 minutes at the max. It should be a good temperature for us.”
The program is also readying for its top fundraiser, the Robert Covington Steak Supper and Auction hosted by the White House Quarterback Club on Saturday, May 11th. The event is $40 for a double meal ticket and the auction begins at 7 p.m. The goal of $40,000 will be used to replace the indoor practice facility with new blue turf.
This article contains a correction after one player was misidentified in the original story published in The White House Tribune.