Look Up: Wildcats can see proof of their hard work high on the wall of the weight room

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Aug. 6, 2008 - If Sulphur Springs players want proof that the offseason and summer strength, speed and conditioning workouts are working, all they have to do is look up.

Posted high on the wall of the Wildcats' weight room are the all-time bests in seven different speed and strength categories. The most recent tests - completed about two weeks ago - dominate the board.

Senior offensive tackle Jake Russell and junior center Colby Suggs are the top two in the "Wildcat" category, which is a combination of the other six tests - squat, bench press, clean, 40-yard dash, agility shuttle and vertical leap.

Others who top the "All-Time" list (which actually goes back to 2003, when records were permanently kept in the categories) are Suggs in the squat with 555 pounds, Suggs and Russell tied in the clean at 315 pounds, senior defensive tackle Ryan Miller in the bench at 340 pounds, senior running back Ryan Young in the agility drill, senior cornerback Anthony Mills in the vertical leap at 36 inches, and senior running back Eddie Arciga in the pound-for-pound category.

This is the result of these guys working hard day-in and day-out. It pays off. This is tangible stuff that they can look at on the wall and see how much they've progressed.

It's all about them buying into what is going in and being here in the offseason and in the summer getting bigger and stronger and faster.

The Wildcats have five players who are squatting more than 500 pounds, 10 who bench press 300 or more, seven who clean over 260, and nine who run the 40 in 4.50 or faster.

In the squat, Suggs and Miller squatted 555 and 550, respectively, while junior offensive guard Mason Y'Barbo (540), junior defensive tackle J.B. Beachum (525) and Russell (525) each went over 500 pounds.

In the bench, Miller and Y'Barbo hold the top two spots with 340 and 330 pounds, respectively. Others who benched at least 300 pounds were senior defensive tackle Tadarious Johnson (325), Russell, Suggs and sophomore linebacker Joe Scott (315 each), Beachum (310) and senior defensive end Colton Nash, junior defensive lineman Demarcus Reeves and junior offensive tackle Beau Carpenter (300 each).

In the clean, Suggs and Russell each went 315, while other top lifters were Miller (285), junior offensive lineman Andrew Burton and junior linebacker Tyler Higginbotham (275 apiece), senior defensive end Jameison Dial (27) and senior outside linebacker Jayden Wallace (265).

The top 40-yard dash time went to Young, a transfer from Alba-Golden, who clocked a time of 4.37 seconds. That barely missed the top two times set by Keelan Green in 2004 (4.30) and Jon Lindley in 2003 (4.36). Others who ran 4.50 or better were senior cornerback Darrell Franklin and junior receiver Shane McQueen (4.44 each), Wallace (4.46), junior safety Bryant "Day Day" Jackson and junior cornerback Lemarcus Kendricks (4.48 each), senior receiver Ben Barrows (4.49) and sophomore receiver Irvin Anderson and Mills at 4.50 each.

Mills had the second-best vertical jump of all time, as his 36-0 leap was a half-inch below Keenan Clayton's best set in 2003.

The top five in the pound-for-pound category were Arciga, Quentin Long, Scott, Franklin and Wallace.

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