East Webster's Harris, Bell win state championships

April 12, 2009

Danny P Smith -


MABEN -- Senior Jacob Harris showed what four years of hard work could do as a powerlifter at East Webster High School, and sophomore Timakis Bell is following the same path. 


Harris and Bell both won Class A state powerlifting championships in their weight class and gave East Webster quite a lift. 


Bell said it was the effort and support of the entire team that made individual success possible. 


"My classmates and I went and did what we had to do," Bell said. "We all lifted weights and conditioned. It was just hard work and repetition." 


East Webster Athletic Director and football coach Jimmy Carden is aware the championship ability of Harris and Bell translates to what can happen in other sports. 


Carden appreciates what Harris has done and what Bell can continue to do. 


"Timakis is a sophomore and we''ll have him back for a couple of years," Carden said. "Jacob was a four-year starter for us. Both of them have been good for the program and have represented us well. We''re proud of them." 


Bell won the 242-pound weight class with a state record total weight of 1,380 pounds, which was 20 pounds less than what he lifted at North State. 


He had record lifts in the squat (530 pounds), the deadlift (600 pounds) and came close to another in the bench. 


"He red-lighted a few times on some technicalities," East Webster strength and powerlifting coach Doug Wilson said. "He could handle the weight, but couldn''t get the call. 


"(Bell) is naturally strong and works hard in the weight room, but I think he''s the type of kid who would be strong if he didn''t lift a lot of weights. He has that build and he really likes it." 


As a young competitor, Bell said it was his strategy to set his goals high. 


It was a dream of Bell''s to be a title holder in powerlifting, and he feels blessed to be living his dream as a sophomore. 


"First and foremost, I''ve got to thank God for giving me the strength to go out there and compete," Bell said. "I know there were some (lifters) out there coming in to do the same thing I wanted to do and that was to win, but I''ve got to thank my coach for putting me through hard work, showing me that I had to work hard every day and it would pay off." 


Harris won the 275-pound weight class with a total record of 1,370. He was the only senior that placed. 


Wilson said Harris was an unusual participant as most seniors get burned out on powerlifting. 


"We don''t normally have a lot of luck with seniors coming out, but he stuck with it and hopefully he can get ready to move on to the next level," Wilson said. 


Harris has enjoyed his time at East Webster and plans to walk on at Holmes Community College to play football. 


Wilson has been pleased with the progress of the powerlifting program. 


When the school moves up to Class 2A next season, Wilson believes it will be tougher, but looks forward to the challenge. 


"When I came in nine years ago, we didn''t have powerlifting and I started it about seven years ago," Wilson said. "We have some tough competition coming up. It was tough enough this year, but it''s going to get even more so when we move up. We''ll be competing against some great coaches and good competition." 


Under Wilson''s guidance, Bell believes the Wolverines will continue to move in the right direction. 


"He''s amazing," Bell said. "He has us training day in and day out. We have good days and bad days, but we''re still here and we''ll get all on the same page when it''s all said and done."