D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Coach Joshua Ladner helped build the D'Iberville Warriors into state powerlifting contenders.
Before D'Iberville moved into the Class 6A ranks last season, the Warriors won two Class 5A South State championships in 2010 and 2011.
Ladner says these young men are dedicated and love competing.
He says that's why D'Iberville held off Meridian to claim the South State title, now gunning for the state trophy.
"My boys are always ready for a fight. And if there's a fight to come in state and we have to fight to get it, I know their going to give their all,"said Ladner.
David Valencia competes in the 123 pound weight class. At the South State meet, Valencia had a squat of 385 pounds, 185 pound bench press and 405 pound dead lift.
"We have an amazing an amazing shot because the group of people that coach Ladner has put together this year has been one of the best powerlifting teams to come through D'Iberville,"stated Valencia.
132 pound powerlifter, Brenden Burns had a 385 pound squat, 225 pound bench press and a 465 pound dead lift.
Burns says coach Ladner has the Warriors powerlifting team reaching new heights.
Burns said,"A lot of people don't have this and it's good that we have this, that we have a privilege to come here and be able to workout and lift under a coach who actually cares about us."
Cade Ross competes in the 148 pound weight class. He along with Valencia and Burns, only compete in powerlifting.
Most of the other powerlifters... play football. At the South State Championships, Ross lifted 485 pounds in the squat, had a 225 pound bench press and a dead lift of 525 pounds.
"It's all focus, calm and stay relaxed and calm and you've got this,God is going to pull you through,"said Ross.
Ladner was a member of the 2002 5A State Championship football team at D'Iberville. He says when he played football in high school, there wasn't as much emphasis placed on powerlifting. He's changed all that.
The Class 6A State Powerlifting meet is set for April fifth in Jackson's Mississippi Coliseum.