Future college athlete advances to state powerlifting meet


BISHOP — Jared “JT” Esparza’s days as an Apache competitor have been extended once more as the senior linebacker advanced to the state powerlifting meet after placing second in his respective weight class last weekend.

Esparza competed in the 242-pound weight class, squatting 555 pounds, bench pressing 365 pounds and dead lifting 580 pounds for a total of 1,500 pounds. Kingsville King’s Ismael Gonzalez took first in the weight class with a 1,550 total. Esparza, Gonzalez and Port Isabel’s Neyfis Castellanos, who also lifted 1,500 pounds, all qualified for state from this region.

Coby Pruett placed sixth in the superheavyweight division, with lifts of 550 squat, 300 bench press and 505 dead lift for a total of 1,355. Qualifying for state were Navarro’s Sergio Hernandez at 1,665 pounds and Orange Grove’s Will Atwood at 1,545 pounds.

Vicente Reyna, usually competing at the 242-pound class, was a scratch.

Esparza’s lifts are an improvement from last season, where he placed eighth in the 220-pound weight class with his total of 1,325. He signed a letter of intent early February to play college football for Blinn College. This season, he was named District 15-4ADI Defensive MVP.

The senior lifter will compete in the state powerlifting meet in Abilene next week. The meet takes place March 22-23.