The East Union Lady Urchins should be preparing to defend their Class I State Powerlifting title at the present, but with the coronavirus has shut down the schools in Mississippi. The Lady Urchins are now searching for ways to attempt to keep an edge at home in hopes of an opportunity that seems to be fading with every passing day.
East Union was fresh off their fifth North Half championship in early March when everything came to a halt. Instead of training for the state championships and another title, the Lady Urchins now find themselves just trying to train to stay in shape.
Kaitie Boatner is a four-time individual and team state champion for the Lady Urchins and has attempted to work on her condition both mentally and physically.
"Since everything is shut down like gyms and our school's facilities, I've just tried to keep a positive and hopeful mindset to be able to compete again," Boatner said. "In the meantime I've been trying to keep a normal workout routine for me like at-home workouts to maintain strength."
Jessie Roberts has won three individual state championships plus a runner-up to her resume as well as being a four-time team state champion. Roberts has also been working to maintain a regimen for staying in condition.
"Since we've been out and not been able to workout at the school, I am fortunate that my mom's friend is willing to let me come to her house and use her workout equipment," Roberts said. "Other than trying to workout three days a week, I've been resting up, watching my weight of course and trying to stay positive in hopes that we will be bringing another state championship home next month."
Boatner and Roberts are thankful for the opportunity to have some sort of workout possible, but there are shortcomings that both athletes shared.
"One of the toughest things about being out of school is not being about to workout with Coach (Scott) Duley," Roberts stated. "Trying to stay in shape is really hard to do without the coach that you've had train you for the past five years.
"Obviously, it's been tough to get half of your senior season taken away, but we are hoping it will still be on if we get to go back to school."
Boatner pointed to the mental aspect of trying to train and also keep a proper perspective.
"It's certainly devastating to have you senior season shut down," Boatner said. "After years of training and hard work to get where I am now and knowing there's a possibility that I won't be able to compete for one more state championship is just heartbreaking. "That's the hardest thing to have to grasp mentally."
Boatner and Roberts each came into their final season with personal goals as well as team goals that they hoped to achieve. They both hope that they will be able to realize them despite the suspension of the season at the present.
"My goal was to be better than I was last year and for my teammates to do the same," Boatner said. "I wanted to reset my previous records for squat and deadlift."
Roberts shared that in addition to achieving her goals, she wanted to be a leader for her team, especially to her younger teammates.
"Some of my goals this season were to workout and train hard to bring home another individual and team state championship," Roberts said. "Aside from winning, I wanted to focus on being a good leader to the younger girls too.
"Being on the first-ever winning girls powerlifting team at East Union as an eighth grader, I had great leaders to look up to and now being a senior, I want them to have that as well."
Other members of the East Union Powerlifting team that recently won Class I North Half are Sylvie McVey, Liz Hall, Macey Moorhead, Yilah Isby, Carrie Wilkinson, Maggie McVey, Mary Herod, Harleigh Wheelington, Emma Boatner, Bethany Hazel, Lucy Haynes, Sunshine Fulgham, Emily Herod.