Quitman School District has been making waves with a new sport this year: Girls Powerlifting.
Although powerlifting is not new to the district, Coach Charlie Sorto is thrilled to be able to carry on a program his father started and be involved with the first separate girls’ team.
“We’re trying to return some excitement to the community with women athletics. My dad started this pilot program back in the 1990s and had some success. When I came back, I already knew I wanted to get my hands involved with it,” expressed Sorto. “This is the first time we’ve had a girls’ team where they lift at separate meets of their own.”
The team took off with 20 girls, and they have done amazing this year. In just their first year, they have managed to win their division and become the champions for Class 2 Region 3. Coach Sorto is proud of his team and everything they have accomplished.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished considering none of the girls have lifted before this year,” Sorto explained. “They’re involved in other sports, but none of them have specifically done weight training before this year.”
In a short period of time, the girls have been able grow and do more than they ever thought possible while having fun at the same time.
“It’s really fun. The girls really cheer you on. You’re sore after every meet, but it’s fun,” stated Caroline Goodwin, a seventh grader. “I’ve placed first in every meet that I’ve been to. I can do more than the bar on bench press now. It’s taught me a lot about sportsmanship. It’s just a great team.”
The girls on the team do not just act as individuals. They are there to support each other, and they know that they can do anything they set their minds to do.
“My experience on the powerlifting team has been awesome,” said Emory Moody, a junior. “I’ve grown a lot. The girls have come closer like sisters. It’s like a second family to me. It’s all a mental thing. We’ve got this. We can do this.”
That family feel has been important for each member of the team. In fact, all the support they receive from the team and the community has helped push each member to do even better. All of the growth and support is especially important for the members who will be graduating this year.
“Without the team or family, I wouldn’t have come this far! I could barely lift any heavy weights at first; now, I can lift anything I put my mind to,” declared Fashanti Allen, a senior. “I’m so happy that we got this program while I’m in school, but sadly this is my last year!”
The team success is evidence that Coach Sorto has done a great job training and preparing the girls for powerlifting, but he has also made sure to teach them more than just that. He has helped give them life lessons that they will continue to use long after they graduate so that they can handle any situation they are faced with.
“I’ve learned to never quit,” expressed Kirstie Graves, a senior. “Even when it’s hard or just feels hard, just keep pushing and never give up.”
Coach Sorto is excited about how well the team has done this year, and it gives him confidence that in the future they will become even stronger.
“Now that we have this started and established, I feel like we’ll be much stronger next year,” explained Sorto. “We should repeat as Division Champs and Region Champs and will be suited for a South State Championship.”
These girls have worked hard and will only get better as the program progresses. Continue to support these ladies and watch the amazing things they are bound to accomplish in the future.