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McCarroll was back-to-back state runner-up

Posted on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 6:00 am

By Ken Jackson
Sports Editor

Boys weightlifting programs are generally conditioning for other sports programs. Good weightlifters are great at things like football, wrestling and swimming.

Then there’s Harmony’s Brett McCarroll, who committed himself to becoming a great weightlifter.

After four seasons as a part of the Longhorns’ weights program, in which he qualified for the Class 2A state meet three times and became part of the USA Weightlifting program, that commitment saw results.

McCarroll was runner-up the last two years in the 139-pound weight class at state. The second-place finish this year as a senior was notable because, due to injury, he lifted hurt most of the season.

Based on that state podium finish and his dominance of the steps leading up to it, McCarroll is the Osceola News-Gazette Boys Weightlifter of the Year.

McCarroll

Just like he did when he narrowly took second place in a packed 139-pound field at the top, McCarroll had the heaviest clean and jerk (255) in April at the state meet in Panama City.

He rolled through the lift season’s biggest events, winning at 139 the Orange Belt Conference championship, District 2A-11 meet and the Region 6 meet that put him back in states, despite a wrist and elbow injury just before the regular season started that set his senior season training back.

“I tried to lift what the state record was in the clean (285 pounds) so I could feel the weight so I could get that this year,” McCarroll said. “My footing slipped and I fell back. I was lucky I didn’t break the wrist.

“After finishing second last year I had my eyes set on winning it all this year. After the injury finishing second was a positive, although I was still a little disappointed that I couldn’t go at it fully this year.”

The interest in weightlifting came during his freshman year, when he began working in Brazilian jujitsu and got interested in MMA.

“At first I didn’t think it was my thing, but my friend kept pushing me,” he said. “I just kept progressing and reached a point where I knew this was what I liked doing.”

He placed fifth in the 2016 state meet at 129 pounds, just 25 pounds out of first, as a sophomore. His top clean and jerk of 270 pounds and combined total of 520 at the 2017 state meet left him just 20 points out of first.

This year he came out of a bunched pack to finish second (260-255—515) to clear favorite Josh Hibbard (325-250—575) of New Smyrna Beach.

“I know that kid personally, and knew he’d be tough to beat in any way,” McCarroll said.

His final state meet experience may have been the most fun, he said, because Harmony truly went as a team — Cameron Scheerer (sixth place at 129 pounds), Garrett Breeding (sixth at 199) and Joseph Derryberry (11th at 238) also qualified for states.

“It was a real highlight traveling up there with them,” McCarroll said. “It really hit me during my final clean attempt that it was my last time wearing that singlet and competing, and then after the meet ended it really hit me.”

McCarroll worked with Coach John Wallauer, Jr., now Harmony’s athletic director, for three years before Nick Lippert took over coaching the team.

“I want to give Coach Wallauer a lot of credit, we were really connected because he competed in high school at about the same size that I am,” he said. “And Coach Lippert really stepped up and took over in a positive way this year. Plus I had the support of a lot of other people: my parents, my girlfriend and my teammates.”

Lippert said McCarroll carried himself in the weight room among his teammates like a leader the coach hopes rubs off on Longhorns to come.

“With culmination of an outstanding career and weekly success, Brett has set the bar for many to come and leaves behind a legacy of commitment to sport, team, school, and self,” Lippert said. “Brett is self-motivated and loves lifting, and I hope he will continue to compete as he moves on past high school. I look forward to Brett coming back from time to time to help some of the young lifters with their technique.”

McCarroll hopes to use some of those leadership skills in the near future, as he hopes to soon enter the police academy.