Everyone loves someone that can pull their weight. But one Tea Area High School student proves that he can pull his own weight - and quite a bit more! And now, sophomore Blake Ensz has the medal to prove it.

Ensz said the road to being a 2016 National Champion actually started when he was around ten or eleven years old.

I was just kind of fooling around with lifting and discovered that I was pretty strong.

Having no "formal" training, but having a football coach that noticed he did have some pretty good strength, Ensz said

Coach Clayburg (head football coach at Tea Area High School) entered me into a powerlifting competition when I was in 8th grade.

That competition was just what Ensz needed to truly spark his love of the sport. He started training at the Next Edge Academy in Sioux Falls and with the help of his trainer, Steve Fergen, Ensz continues to win and even holds a state record.

I have the state record for benching 375 pounds in the 242 pound weight class. That's my personal best.

Training Monday through Friday (and sometimes Saturdays), Ensz won the State title and advanced to the 2016 USAPL High School National Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Florida. Competing in the 220 pound-weight class and the 15-16 year old division (which is considered the JV division) Ensz powerlifted himself right into the championship.

Competing against 15 other competitors from around the United States, Ensz deadlifted 480 pounds, squatted 563 pounds and bench pressed 363 pounds for a total of 1,406 pounds. But the real weight can be found in the gold championship metal hanging around his neck that reads "2016 USAPL High School National Powerlifting Champion".

When Ensz isn't getting stronger in the weight room, you can also find him on the football field under the Friday night lights for the Tea Area Titans.


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