image
Chesmar

Rams’ gridders pump it up


CHESHIRE — Just how much is ever won in the football offseason?

For what it’s worth, championship teams almost invariably say their title run rested on the weight room work that started immediately at the end of the previous season.

If so, teams like Cheshire and Southington can feel pretty good as they grunt their way toward spring ball.

Cheshire finished first over the weekend in the annual Connecticut High School Football Weight Lifting Competition, which drew 19 teams to New London High School. Southington finished fourth.

Between them, the Rams and Blue Knights lifted more than 12 tons. Cheshire hoisted 12,490 pounds. Southington put up 11,905. That’s a lot of Thanksgiving turkey.

There were three lifts: squat, bench press and power clean. Lifters were divided into five weight classes, from 160-and-under to 220-and-over.

The overall individual winner was Cheshire lineman Cullen Clairmont. The junior, competing in the 220-plus bracket, squatted 500 pounds and handled 300 in both the bench press and power clean.

That’s 1,100 lbs total. No one else went over 1,000.

Cheshire, which brought 20 players in all to the competition, also got strong outings from Tyler D’Errico (181-200 pound division) and Chris Hillburn (201-220). They were second in their weight classes. Also, lineman Alex Conrod, who missed much of his sophomore season in 2013 to a concussion, was third in the 220-plus class.

Cheshire head coach Don Drust Jr. attributed the success in New London to Pat Russo, a one-time Cheshire assistant and Wolcott head man who is now back with the Rams as their strength and conditioning coach.

“He’s the one who’s been getting the kids ready to go,” said Drust, who is looking to rebound his team from last year’s 4-7 campaign. “We kind of have some momentum right now. The kids are doing good things. Football is on their mind. They’re talking about it; they’re doing things the right way.”

The Blue Knights, meanwhile, look to maintain their proven methods of last season, which culminated with the CIAC Class LL championship.

Several returning starters from that team fared well in New London. Two junior defensive linemen won their weight classes: Matt Koczera (181-200) with 940 total pounds and Dan Williams (201-220) at 990. (Williams was second overall to Clairmont.)

Peter Majchrzak, a junior wide receiver and defensive back for Southington, was second in 160-under division, where another Blue Knight, sophomore running back Alession Diana, had the top press and clean.

Southington sophomore Jasen Rose, a wide receiver last season but heir apparent to Stephen Barmore at quarterback, had the top press (300 pounds) in the 201-220 class.

Another category winner was Dan Chesmar, a junior linebacker at Wilcox Tech. He benched 315 in the 181-200 division.

“The boys had a great time,” said Wilcox coach Trevor Jones, whose Indians were the only team from the Constitution State Conference to compete. “We got good exposure and we brought home some iron.”

Sheehan brought two teams — 31 players total — to New London. The top Titans were Trevor Angeletti and Dave Laplante tied for the third in power clean at 201-220.



Back to Sports

Latest Comments