EA finishes 2nd at powerlifting championship

Published 2:19 pm Friday, March 3, 2023

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Escambia Academy finished runner up at the 2023 AISA Powerlifting Championship Feb. 21 at Pickens Academy.

The Cougars finished with 57 points to tournament champions Pickens Academy (76 points). Fort Dale Academy finished third with 43 points.

EA coach Gex Billups said the school brought a good number of kids to the championship.

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“We brought 31, and came in second place to Pickens who had 61 kids,” Billups said. “We probably had four to five state champions. I was really proud of everybody who went.”

Split into different weight classes, lifters score between 1-5 points based on what they lift in squat, bench and deadlift. Five points is first place, four points is second place and three points is third.

Escambia Academy’s Kason Bryant in the 81-pound weight class; Shawnton riley in the 132-pound weight class; and Lea Odom in the female SHW class won state titles

Billups said the team brought some 14 girls, and he thought they did an amazing job.

“For a bunch of them that was their first time ever going to the weight meet,” he said. “They were super excited to go. That’s what kind of kept us in the race. Cameran Bryan ended up getting second behind a guy who was breaking state records (in the 165-pound class).”
Billups said overall he was proud of the kids.

“Congrats to Pickens who won,” he said. “I know that it was the first time they’ve won. We just have got to come back strong next year. I know all of the kids are excited to keep working, and getting better and be back next year.”

Everybody will return to the powerlifting team except for Odom, Billups said.

“Congrats to Pickens, who hosted a great tournament,” the coach said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”


EA power lifters who finished in the top three included by gender:


  • Bryant, first place
  • Danny Doerr, 123 pounds – second place
  • Bryan, 165 pounds – second place
  • Ty McCants, 175 pounds – second place
  • Luke Bell, 198 pounds – third place
  • Charlie Sasser, 220 pounds – third place
  • Zeke McElhaney, SHW – second place



  • Scottlia Williams, 125 pounds – second place
  • Odom, SHW – first place
  • Caitlin Lanham, SHW – second place