BY Teagan Schwab Staff Writer
Squat night at the performance center marks an inimitable but peculiarly familiar segment for the Bearcat power-lifters. The thunderous sound of thumps and rumbles from heavy weights, hard work and raucous music, like “The Ghost Inside”, while perhaps intimidating to an outsider, fuels the power-lifters’ drive.
All the while, Coach David Edwards watches his team with a highly trained eye, helping them to better themselves and push (sometimes pull) boundaries with every straining lift.
“The workouts are really tough and push you, which I think will benefit the team,” said second year power-lifter Caresse Hollendoner. “Coach is really involved and scrutinizes every movement during practice to help us improve our form. Our practices are well organized and everyone knows what to expect.”
Returning power-lifters Hollendoner and Steven Fritsch ended last season with remarkable max lifts. Hollendoner added 100 pounds to her dead lift, and Fritsch squatted 650 pounds. They are excited to work with Edwards to improve their lifts even more.
“He’s no-nonsense,” said Fritsch, “and practices are hard but builds an attitude that is needed for competition day. It’s a different approach from last year but one that I think will benefit our team and help us reach our goals for the 2015-2016 school year.”
In their inaugural season, the women’s power-lifting team tied for 18th place, and the men’s power-lifting team tied for 28th place at nationals in Atlanta. Coach Edwards is eager to help the team improve.
Edwards turned to power-lifting to regain his strength after tearing the cartilage that supports the ball and socket joint in his shoulder earlier in his athletic and competitive career. His drive pushed him to become an even stronger lifter following recovery, earning two South Carolina state records.
Edwards knew his first semester of his senior year at James Madison University he wanted to be a strength coach. After serving as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Limestone College in Gaffney, SC, for two years, McKendree presented an outstanding opportunity and became an obvious next step in his career.
As the head coach of the Men’s and Women’s Power-lifting program, Edwards looks forward to seeing the development and success of his lifters. He has the dedication, experience and commitment to carry McKendree’s young power-lifting program forward.
Coach Edwards stated,“I love what I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”