North Branch to host state powerlifting finals Sunday



North Branch’s Drew Ragatz lifts the weights off the stand at a recent meet. Photos courtesy North Branch Powerlifting

North Branch’s Drew Ragatz lifts the weights off the stand at a recent meet. Photos courtesy North Branch Powerlifting

NORTH BRANCH — On Sunday, March 8, North Branch High will have a unique buzz about it. That’s because the school will play host to the Michigan High School Powerlifting Association state finals.

Several North Branch athletes will be on the slate with the action starting at 9 a.m. for the girls and 1:30 p.m. for the boys.

Broncos’ football coach Jeremy Ferman was instrumental in North Branch being awarded the event.

“I’m on the executive board for the state association, MHSPLA,” said Ferman. “We usually have it at high schools and this year we were trying to find a venue. Whether it was going to be at a college or the old Birch Run Expo Center, but we just couldn’t get dates together for that, so I offered up North Branch to host it. The rest of the board agreed on that. It’s good for North Branch.”

The competition will include three different lifts; squat, bench press and deadlift. They will take place in that order and each competitor will get three lifts per discipline.

The top amount lifted in each portion will be combined for the overall score. There will be 13 weight classes for individual champions on both the boys’ and girls’ side.

The event includes all of the top high school powerlifters in the state and will be in North Branch’s gym with 12 platforms. The expectation is that there will be around 275 girls and 250-260 boys scheduled to compete.

Last year’s team champions were Croswell-Lexington for the girls and Lake Orion for the boys.

“In the area, you’ve got people from Lapeer, Davison, Imlay City and Swartz Creek,” added Ferman. “They’re coming from all around the area.”

“This is a huge deal,” noted North Branch superintendent Jim Fish. “Our town is bracing for the influx of visitors. We have tons of people helping out which is most of our athletic program.”