NC Football boasts six new 1000 pound club members


NC Football

Hitting the 1000 pound milestone stands as a huge milestone for football players in their physical conditioning journey. Being strong and in shape can determine the outcomes of hard-fought games, and remains something the fans do not see. For NC, the road ahead lies challenging, with such a tough 2022 schedule. If players do not possess the strength to compete every Friday night or even become injured, then the team could face serious problems. NC lies in great hands with offensive line and strength training coach Robert Ingram leading the way.

Peyton Stack, Co-Copy editor

The NC Warrior football team hit the ground running regarding offseason training and lifting as soon as the second semester began. Following a momentous 2021 season that ended in an unfortunate second-round exit in the 7A GHSA state playoffs, head coach Shane Queen and the entire coaching staff shifted focus towards the weight room. The hard work and dedication these young men put in behind the scenes typically goes unnoticed by fans but plays a vital role in differentiating between good teams and elite teams when autumn rolls around. Strength and conditioning coach Robert Ingram and the entire program proudly boast six more athletes who belong to the 1000 pound club in terms of the three cumulative lifts: squat, bench, and power clean. Each player demonstrated their ability to complete each exercise at their max weight, and if their total amounted to over 1000 pounds, they officially etched their spot in the club.

Winter Break didn’t stop 61 Warriors and Jr Warriors from getting some work in this morning. [I] Walked outside after locking up and saw that they didn’t leave, they just moved outside for some 7 on 7s. A player-driven team is hard to beat,” NC Warrior Power Twitter said

Five of the six athletes belong to the 2023 class, and all played significant roles in earning two straight region titles in the past two seasons. Junior quarterback Malachi Singleton joined the club, adding additional achievements to his illustrious high school career. The 6’2 200 pound quarterback boasts a 385 pound squat and 240-pound bench. He holds 14 Division 1 offers from all around the country, including Georgia, Cincinnati, UCF, and Virginia. Singleton enters his senior season next semester as a 2-time reigning Region Player of the Year, along with All-state honors.

Along with Singleton, two returning offensive linemen that comprise the quarterback’s protective front joined the 1000 pound club. Junior center Blake Ellsworth, who commonly receives appraisal for the off-field work he puts in, recently earned his first collegiate offer from Grinnell College on February 18. The class of 2023 athletes reps a 315 pound bench, 425 pound squat, and 445 pound deadlift. Ellsworth received several invites from Yale and Dartmouth to attend camps and game days, prepping for a hyped senior season. Joining Ellsworth, comes junior lineman Robert Grigsby, who earned 15 D1 collegiate offers. Grigsby posted a 300 pound bench and 405 pound squat. He holds the attention of teams like Duke, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, and Georgia Tech. Both athletes join forces with junior lineman Marselle Felton, to make up the star-studded iron wall. 

Behind that iron wall, comes junior running back Ben Hall, who also joined the 1000 pound club. Hall holds multiple of the team’s heaviest lifts, which helped earn him offers from Michigan, South Carolina, and Utah. NC banks on Hall and transfer running back David Mbadinga to carry the load next season.

The next two athletes who hit the 1000 pound milestone consist of junior Bryan Graham and sophomore Zach Addison. Both players saw a fair amount of playtime during the 2021 season and will stand as key pieces to next year’s team. Most notably, Addison stepped in for starting lineman Marselle Felton this past season, when he went down with a hand injury. Graham posted a 265 pound bench press, 420 pound squat, and a 450 pound deadlift. Both Graham and Addison continue to fight for their respective offers but have received plenty of camp and junior day invites. 

Every sport has its performance benchmarks. From breaking the 5-minute mile barrier as a runner to speeding through 40 kilometers in less than an hour as a cyclist to completing more than 700 meters in 12 minutes as a swimmer, using these numbers for your goals can take your everyday training to the next level. If you lift weights, there’s no better way to earn bragging rights than to qualify for the 1,000-Pound Club,” Men’s Health said. 

Joining the 1000 pound club marks a huge milestone in an athlete’s journey and can impact the level of play on the field. As the NC Warriors enter next season as the number one ranked team in various preseason polls, this hefty strength could come in handy.