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Back to Back Weightlifting Champions
By Matt Shepard
Published: Summer 2002

In March 16th, BFS Clinician Rick Tomberlin repeated history. Just two weeks after winning the Regional Weightlifting Competition for the third straight year, Tomberlin took his Washington County Golden Hawks to Macon, Georgia to match them up against the state’s best. At this guts and glory showdown, Tomberlin’s team again proved their dominance in a hard-fought battle to win the Georgia All-Classification State Weightlifting Championship. This makes it two years in a row that Tomberlin’s Washington County (WACO) lifters have won the state championship.
This WACO team is made up of a cross section of Washington County High School students. All team members participate in one of the school’s weight training classes. The classes are all under the school’s Physical Education Department. With Coach Tomberlin, this WACO team has amassed an impressive record.
Coaches: Rick Tomberlin, Matt Hollis, Frank Lee and Joel Ingram.
Implementing The Program

Tomberlin and his staff introduced the BFS Total Program to Washington County High School when they arrived in 1992. Tomberlin recalls, “As Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, I felt it essential to have a unified program for the entire high school. I also implemented the BFS Readiness program at T.J Elder Middle School, which is our feeder middle school. My staff and I have had success doing the Total Program at other schools since 1983.”
Washington County takes great pride in the BFS Total Program. It has enabled them to establish national BFS dead lift records in 1997, 98 and 99. With the most recent record, 51 Golden Hawks dead lifted 500 pounds and 11 lifters pulled 600 pounds. Former Golden Hawk and current Football Player at Liberty University, Tyler Biggins, set the national single dead lift record by pulling 735 pounds.
The Golden Hawks established national BFS power clean records in 2000 and 2001. The most recent record had 34 lifters power clean 225 pounds for at least one repetition and 16 lifters clean 250 pounds for a least one repetition. These power clean records were recently broken by Camden County High School. Tomberlin challenges, “We congratulate Camden County for their success; we now have added motivation to break their new record.”
Success follows them onto the football field as well. Tomberlin exhorts, “We credit the BFS Total Program with the success of our Golden Hawks Football Team.” The team won state championships in 1994-96 and 97 going 15 and 0 each year. They were Regional Football Champions in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000 and 2001. The Golden Hawks play their home games in “THE HOUSE OF PAIN”, where they are 68-5 over the past ten years at WACO. Their overall record at WACO is 115-20.

Becoming a Clinician

After following Coach Tomberlin’s continuing success, BFS President Dr. Shepard asked him to become a BFS clinician. In 1999 Tomberlin joined the ranks of the highly esteemed BFS Clinicians. Thrilled with his calling, Tomberlin claims, “I really enjoy traveling all across the country visiting with coaches and athletes, conducting BFS clinics. I have found that we in coaching are a great fraternity and that athletes are eager to
learn-they just need leadership and direction.” Coach Tomberlin is now considered an indispensable asset to BFS.

A Few Tomberlin Tips

We add a little twist to the normal BFS set-rep routine; we go on command with each set. Why on Command? We feel we can control sets, reps, tempo, discipline, and intensity. We can better supervise the weight on the bar.
We also speed up a normal workout---we call it going in rapid fire! We try to condense an hour and half workout into a fifty-minute lifting period. Fast tempo aids in conditioning, builds mental and physical toughness, blends very well into our athletic philosophy. In fact, in our ‘96 and ‘97 Football State Championship victories we had to come from behind to win. We have found that we are generally the stronger team in the 4th quarter. By the beginning of the 4th quarter some of our opponents are ready to sign a non-aggression pact.
Washington County High School Championships
The Dave Pasanella Championship, 1995 through 1998
The Regional Championship in 2000 through 2002*
Georgia All-Classification State Championship Runner-ups, 2000
Georgia All-Classification State Championship, 2001 & 2002
* The Dave Pasanella Strength Competition was changed to a regional contest in 2000.

At the regional competition the WACO lifters showed their dominance by scoring 161 points while the nearest competitor tallied only 39. The state competition was much tougher but WACO again came out on top with 38 points to the second place teams’ 30.

This years individual WACO winners:
Clay McDaniel 165lb class 1st place State Champion
Ray Moon 185lb class 2nd place State runner-up
Dwayne Renfroe 220lb class 2nd place State runner-up
Trent Ingram 240lb class 2nd place State runner-up
Jamel Lyman 145lb class 4th place

Golden Hawks coaaching staff with the Regional trophy (left to right) Joel Ingram, Matt Hollis, Rick Tomberlin
165-pound State Champion Clay McDaniel: power clean 285, squat 435, for a 1005 total.

Return to Summer 2002 Articles

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