Student strength displayed at first district-hosted powerlifting meet

HCISD held the Iron Hawk Powerlifting Meet, the first meet of its kind that the school district has ever hosted, on January 28-29 at the Aquatics Center Gym.

 Harlingen South Head Powerlifting coach Danny Cortez, who has been with the district for more than 20 years, helped to coordinate the event. He assisted with organizing judges, spotters, loaders, table workers, and volunteers to disinfect equipment for the two-day event.

 “With all the COVID regulations and CDC guidelines that had to be followed, our athletic department still found a way to navigate it all and make this powerlifting season possible for our student-athletes,” Cortez said. “All participants and visitors had great things to say.”

At the first girls’ meet on January 28, the Lady Hawks placed second and the Lady Cardinals placed third.  At the boys’ meet on January 29, the Hawks placed first and the Cardinals placed third.

Four athletes who competed at the first meet shared their reasons for powerlifting.

Harlingen South senior Idali Vasquez enjoys the environment of the sport.

“It is just so fun and energetic going to the meets and seeing everybody else cheering everyone on. It is just good energy that comes from it,” Vasquez said.

Jonnissa Scarberry, a senior at Harlingen High School appreciates the self and team development that powerlifting provides.

“What I am most fond of in powerlifting is seeing how much I’ve grown mentally and physically,” Scarberry said. “I found myself in a second home that helps me grow as an individual and in a team.”

 Caleb Davis, a junior at Harlingen South loves the thrill of the sport.

 “Although I like many things about powerlifting, nothing beats the rush of adrenaline that I feel when I hear the entire gym cheering as I complete a big lift,” Davis said.  “I love that HCISD is standing behind this great sport.”

Harlingen High School junior Nathan Huerta looks forward to the competition at each meet.

“Although the meets have been limited to a certain number of teams, it doesn’t affect us at all because we know that whoever is there, is there to compete, and so are we,” Huerta said.

The success of the first district meet comes from the hard work of the teams and coaches and support from administrators.

 “Coach Cortez and our administration did a great job making sure all was done at a high level,” Harlingen South coach Mike Aguilar said.

Both teams and the entire district look forward to a safe and successful season.

“It was a great learning experience for our athletes. I look forward to them getting more experience and progressing week in and week out,” Aguilar said.


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