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OCHS Gridders Hold Uplifting Fundraiser

May 2, 2021

first_imgMatt Christy, a two-way tackle, competes in the bench press in Tuesday night’s Ocean City High School football Weight Test fundraiser. By TIM KELLYTalk about heavy metal!The Ocean City High School football team celebrated the end of its winter weight training on Tuesday night with another raucous Weight Test fundraiser to benefit the program.More than 50 parents and friends of the program jammed the weight room, and approximately 40 players took part. Those who are involved in winter sports do not participate, but a good number were still in attendance to cheer on their teammates.“I’m excited to see so many parents here,” Head Coach Kevin Smith said. “(Their sons) have been working hard all winter and it’s great for them to see how much progress they’ve made.”A new tradition for the football program, the Weight Test is now in its sixth year and has raised more than $7,000 to help equip the weight room.(Video courtesy Martin Fiedler of Just Right TV Productions)Smith said the team lifts three days a week after school and many mornings before school when the weight room opens at 6 a.m. There are also lifting sessions on Saturdays, he said.“It’s fun, and great to be around my teammates,” Jake Schneider said of the event.An All West Jersey Football League Independence Division wide receiver, Schneider is looking forward getting back on the field.“When the winter training is over, it seems like next season is a lot closer,” he said.All-West Jersey Football League wide receiver Jake Schneider awaits his chance to lift.The Red Raiders are coming off a 9-3 campaign, their best in two decades, and the weight training has played a big part for a program on the rise.“We’ve gone from a program that won three or four games a year to a winning one, and the number of kids coming out for the team has increased from a low point of 50 to nearly 100,” Smith said. “A lot of that can be traced to what happens here in the weight room.”Schneider, who will be a senior next season, said heightened expectations are welcome and a motivating factor for the squad.“There are no limits for this team,” he said. “Some of us have been together since first grade. This is our last chance as a group, and we want to go out on top.”Ocean City High School Head Football Coach Kevin Smith addresses parents and fans before the competition begins.For the Weight Test competition, the coaches divide the players into five teams who compete in two of the weight program’s core exercises, the bench press and dead lift.Two-way tackle Matt Christy, a 6-2 senior-to-be competing in the latter category, hoisted 335 pounds to the cheers of the audience members and his teammates, as classic rock blared.“I’m proud of him,” mom Lori Christy said. “He works hard. He has his eye on a career in the military, and football has been beneficial.”“He had a nice season for us last year and we’re hoping for another one,” Smith said of Christy. “I think he was hoping to come closer to the record (375 pounds) but 335 is a big lift.”Speaking of records, senior Chris Armstrong, who is headed to Montclair State, tied the dead lift record at last year’s event with teammate Mike Williscroft, as each lifted 570 pounds.Armstrong said he didn’t mind watching the event from the audience this year.“I work out with a lot of these guys and I see what they can do. There are some really strong guys on this team,” he said.Members of the football team get the weights ready for a lift. (Photo courtesy of Martin Fiedler)The competition also includes the dead lift. (Photo courtesy of Martin Fiedler)last_img

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