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BI weightlifters raising the bar
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Bradwell senior Devon Russell prepares to bench press 210 pounds. - photo by photo submitted
Bigger, faster and stronger is the motto of Bradwell Institute’s football team when they work out in the weight room. It’s also the name of the team’s weightlifting program that uses a person’s weight and one-rep max to design a customized program making the athlete bigger, faster and stronger.
Senior Devon Russell and junior Reuben Boone used the program and some extra work of their own to have a good showing at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association State Weightlifting Meet in Perry on March 17.
Russell, who competed in the under-140 pound weight class, finished 12th in the state. Meanwhile, Boone, who competed in the 171-180 pound weight class, finished fifth.
Russell benched 210 pounds, power cleaned 205 and parallel squatted 360 for 775. The winning weight was 950.
BI weightlifting teacher and defensive backs coach Aaron Mock was proud of Russell’s effort.
“I don’t know too many kids under 140 pounds who work as hard as he does,” Mock said. “He has a great work ethic and all the credit goes to him.”
Russell has big dreams. He wants to play football for The Ohio State University. Russell was recently accepted to Ohio State and plans to walk on to the team in the fall. However, at 142 pounds he knows there is a lot of work to do.
Russell said he will continue working out in the weight room and he wants to increase his weight to 160 pounds.
Russell, who is originally from Cleveland Ohio, said he primarily chose Ohio State to be closer to his family and because he has always been a Buckeyes fan.
If he doesn’t make it on the football field, he still desires to be close to the action. Russell intends to major in sports management and said he wants to be an agent.
“I want to be the agent for the next Reggie Bush,” he said. “I want to make the deals.”
 Currently, Russell is running track for the Tigers to increase his speed and stay in shape.
“Physical fitness is very important to me,” he said. “Being a senior, it helps me relieve a lot of stress and keeps me in a good mental state. It keeps me feeling good and I enjoy it.”
While Russell is focusing on finishing his senior year and walking on at Ohio State, Boone is preparing for his final football season at Bradwell.
Boone, who started at linebacker last year for the Tigers, said he wants to get bigger and stronger to help lead Bradwell back to the playoffs.
“The competition made me realize that I may be big at Bradwell but there’s a lot of people out there bigger and stronger than me,” he said. “I want to get bigger and stronger.”
At the state meet, Boone lifted a total of 1,015 pounds - 70 pounds out of first place. He bench pressed 280, power cleaned 270 and parallel squatted 465.
Currently, he throws the shot put for the track team.
He said in addition to exercising, nutrition is a big component of being physically fit.
“I eat healthy. I limit my sweets and non-essential fats,” Boone said. “To compete at a high level, you must eat correctly.”
Boone said he was glad to see his hard work pay off at the state meet, finishing fifth. However, the rising senior said he would work even harder so he can win first place next year.
Mock said he was impressed with both athletes and said their attitudes are contagious.
“They have a desire and the effort to do better. The kids have to fall in love with working out and getting better,” Mock said. “I’m glad they had the opportunity to showcase their talent and qualify for the state meet. The younger kids have seen what they have accomplished and are motivated.”
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