Piedmont HS set to host Union County Strength Championship

When the subject of strength training is brought up among coaches, there are always certain names that are mentioned as the experts in the field.  While we are very fortunate here in the Carolinas to have some of the best coaches in the business working every day to make our young athletes stronger, some coaches have gone to greater lengths to improve upon their craft and educate themselves in the science of the human body and how to make the athletes stronger and faster, all while keeping their safety a top priority.
Piedmont High School strength and conditioning coach Mark Hoover is one of those coaches that has continued to seek higher education when it comes to the science of lifting.  The Pennsylvania native was already known in both the Eastern and Western ends of North Carolina as a football coach, but several years ago he put the pigskin aside and concentrated solely on bettering himself as a strength coach and working closer with athletes of all sports and of genders.
Traveling the region as he has to study weightlifting and learn from other coaches, he noticed a void here in the Carolinas with a lack of organized meets for weight trainers to compete in.  Through some conversations with other local coaches, he decided it was time to create an event.
The concept was simple, find a way to allow student athletes show off their skills and compete against someone other than those you workout with each day.
At first Hoover thought this would be a Union County only event but little did he know that the idea would take shape and gain interest statewide.
"My initial plan was to invite just Union County teams," Hoover stated.  "The response was so great from all over, we decided to expand it.  Next thing I know Jeff Chapman and Dynamic Fitness and Strength offer to sponsor us and bring equipment for us to use. The idea grew pretty quickly into what I hope will be an ever growing annual event."
Hoover also hopes that this event and excitement it has generated can help move North Carolina forward with more events like this designed just for strength training. 
"Many states have leagues. Others, like South Carolina  host Regional and State Events," he added. "Strength and Conditioning as a profession is probably the fastest growing one in sports.  As more and more coaches move to specialize in the area, this is a natural progression."
Giving the competitors some incentive when it comes to logging the time and commitment in the weight room is also an added benefit with these kinds of competitions that can prove to be just as rewarding for the coaches and the student athletes. 
"I hope all attendees, coaches and athletes, leave with a sense of satisfaction that the hard work they put in while nobody else is watching is now getting some attention."  Hoover added. 
(Open to all athletes, not just those from Union County high school's.)
DATE: May 6, 2017
COST:  $15 per competitor, make checks payable to Piedmont Sports Boosters.  
Mail to: Mark Hoover, Piedmont High School, 3006 Sikes Mill Rd., Monroe, NC 28110. 
Males; 125, 135, 155, 170, 185, 205, 230, 231+
Females; 105, 135, 165+
(Weigh-ins will begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at 8:45 a.m.)
AWARDS: Top-3 in each category for overall and for Union County participants. Overall Team trophy, Union County Champion trophy, and Overall Individual Champion (based on Sinclair Formula that figures in bodyweight) championship belt. 
LIFTS:  Lifts will be three attempts each at Clean (hang or power) and Bench Press, plus total.
For more info and for registration forms, contact Mark Hoover at mark.hoover@ucps.k12.nc.us. 

About Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes is the senior football analyst and founder of CarolinaPreps.com. A life-long student of the game, he brings a unique perspective of the game from multiple angles, including that of a former coach. His work has been featured both locally and nationally, including FNF Magazine, Scout.com, and ESPN U.