Coming back to a sport after a concussion can lead to a seesaw of thoughts, contemplation and questions inside someone’s head.
The result of two concussions for Mazama High School sophomore Chad Remstedt forced him to not play football, but did not get rid of his decision to participate in the school’s weighting club.
Mazama Weightlifting had its second meet ever last Friday when 10 competitors competed in Olympic weightlifting.
The competition was a first for Remstedt, who had two severe concussions his eighth grade and freshman years that forced him to not play football in high school, likely ever again.
Remstedt was a running back in his first concussion when he was picked up and dropped on his head by a lineman and collided helmets with an opponent while playing linebacker last year.
Remstedt, who weighs 137 pounds, ended up winning the male weightlifting competition with a 138 kilogram total (304.2 pounds). He had a 61 kg (134.5 pounds) snatch and a 77 kg (169.8 pounds) clean and jerk.
“I was hesitant, at first, to join the club but things quickly changed for me once I got into it,” Remstedt said. “That last lift you have is always the hardest and the whole experience makes me want to keep doing this for a long time.”
Remstedt ran for Mazama’s cross country team and competed in the Skyline Conference championship and plans on competing in track and field this year.
The top female lifter went to Taylor Morrison, who was the only freshman in the competition.
Morrison, who weighs 100 pounds, had a 31 kg (68.3 pounds) snatch and a 43 kg (94.8 pounds) clean and jerk for a 74 kg total (163.1 pounds).
The winner of the female and male competition is based off the Sinclair Coefficient, which puts the competitors weight and total lifted into an equation to decided a winner.
Morrison is also part of the weightlifting class at Mazama, which she choose as an elective at the start of year.
Mazama physical education and club weightlifting instructor Katey Choukalos encouraged Morrison to be part of the after school club and helped her train for two weeks before her first competition.
Morrison is also a part of Mazama junior varsity volleyball and had Choukalos, who helps coach volleyball, tell her the benefits weightlifting could have while she played in a match.
“I stand at 4-foot-8, so my height has been a disadvantage for me in volleyball, but Katey helped me see how I can get stronger and it could help me in many aspects of how I play,” Morrison said. “None of my other friends who are girls wanted to be in the weightlifting club, so this was more about me pushing myself and doing this by myself.”
Other Mazama Weightlifting members who competed were Jaycob Scott Haley, Manuel Montano, Nick Lindenburger, Derick Navarro, Elizabeth Sanchez, Holdyn Polley, Ryan Westman and Trevor Arino.
Half of the participants were in a competition for the first time and all earned personal records.
The weightlifting club intends on hosting another meet in either May or June and currently has 16 members in its second year.
“A lot of these kids are athletes already and just want to get bigger and stronger, so this is for anyone who has any sort of goal,” Choukalos said. “Some of these kids it takes convincing to do it but they realize the potential they have and the benefit and how that outweighs anything negative they can come up with in their mind.”