The powerlifting season began over the weekend for the area schools at McLouth.

For the Basehor-Linwood Bobcats, the team looks to keep their winning history going. 

The women’s team won their 11th straight 4A state title last year and the men’s team won their ninth.

Head coach Justin Wieser said practices have been fun leading up to their first meet over the weekend.

“Practices have been a lot of fun,” Wieser said. “We have a mixture of veteran and first-time lifters, so it has been great getting to watch the development of the teams.”

This year’s team has 25 seniors, including McKenzie Jones, who is also a member of the basketball team.

Wieser said Jessica Gallup, Emma Armstrong, Hannah Stapleton, Emmie Noyes, Jaiden Smith, Lindsey Price, Sadie Webb and Sadie McWilliams will be the key contributors for the women’s team. Jackson Jennings, Tayton Gibson, David Henderson, Matt McKnight, Trey Galvan, Blake Tucker and Cion Harris will be the contributors for the men’s side.

With the season not kicking off until the weekend before classes resume from winter break, Wieser said it can be challenging to prepare.

“Having our first meet before we started school is challenging,” Wieser said. “But our kids showed a lot of commitment being at practices during Christmas break.”

The practices paid off in the first meet. The Bobcats took fourth in the Junior Male Division made up of freshmen and sophomores. There were four Bobcats who placed in the top three. Josh Marcus and Denton Gentry finished second for the Bobcats. Jake Ford and Zack Sisemore were third.

The team also took first in the Female Division. Sadie Webb took first. Mallory Gallet, Sydney Gall, Sarah Keller and Jaiden Smith took second. Emma Armstrong, Hannah Stapleton, McKenzie Jones, Jessica Gallup, Maddy Morgan and Rosie Spratt took third.

In the Male Division, the Bobcats edged out Bonner Springs by three to take first. Colin O’Donnell, Matt McKnight and Thomas Kraus finished third. Trey Galvan was second. Jackson Jennings, Philip Perez, Tayton Gibson and Blake Tucker finished first.

Wieser said the team still has a long way to go before the state championship, but he is confident they will get there.

The Bobcats will get another chance to compete this weekend at Royal Valley before traveling to St. Marys and Leavenworth on the Jan. 19. The Bobcats will host their invitational on the Jan. 26 before having a few weeks off until Feb. 19. The Bobcats will travel to Horton and West Franklin. The season will conclude on March 2 at the state championship hosted at Basehor-Linwood High School. 

Wieser said he is looking forward to the home meet the most. 

“I love our home meet,” he said. “There were more than 950 competitors from 53 high schools last year. It is an amazing event and gives our teams a chance to compete against very tough competition.”