Lifting weights for his own personal gain was not enough for Jarrett Gregory.
To share his passion with others, Gregory established a power lifting club at Washougal High School for his senior project.
“Ever since I got into high school, I’ve enjoyed weight lifting so much and I wanted to give back to it in some way,” he said. “Since our school didn’t have a weight lifting club and other schools did, I figured this was my chance to give back by starting this club and hoping it grows from here.”
Gregory is joined by fellow senior Jake Greig-Prine and sophomores Luke Hiersche, Bobby Jacobs and Jorge Trujillo. On March 24, those five Panthers competed in their first Washington High School Power Lifting meet at White Salmon.
Trujillo took third place at 114 pounds. He benched 115 and dead lifted 260 for a combined total of 375 pounds. Jacobs grabbed sixth at 148 pounds. He squatted 275, benched 225 and dead lifted 340 for a total of 840 pounds. Greig-Prine placed sixth at the unlimited weight class. He squatted 340, benched 235 and dead lifted 405 for a total of 1,020 pounds.
Washougal competes again Saturday, at Shelton. This is the last opportunity for the Panthers to qualify for the state meet, which is scheduled for May 12 in Lacey.
Gregory, Hiersche and Jacobs have seen how lifting weights can produce results on the football field. The Panthers became stronger, faster, more balanced, conditioned and less susceptible to injury. They also started winning more games.
“Guys went from not coming in the weight room at all to lifting three times a week. It was a complete change in the work ethic of our team,” Gregory said. “It’s pretty much how this club got started. Football was over, and I wanted to find a way to keep it going.
“After I’m gone, I hope this club continues on and continues to grow,” he added. “These are the building blocks to becoming a successful school in football, weight lifting and all our other sports.”
It will be up to the underclassmen to carry on Gregory’s message. They seem to have the right idea.
“Once people experience the positive learning environment in this weight room, they will want to bring their friends and their whole team in here,” Jacobs said. “That, in turn, is going to help our football team, our wrestling team and all the other Washougal sports teams who come in here.”
Walking into a weight room for the first time can be intimidating, but it can also be a place to build friendships.
“These guys are like brothers to me,” Hiersche said. “We see each other every day, and we get closer every time we lift or stop on to the field together.
“The bigger schools might have an advantage, but they will never have the brotherhood we have,” he added.