By Michael Kinney
It has become an event for the Mustang football family. As the team prepares for the official start of the season, they close out their summer activities with their annual Horsepower Night.
Despite being held late in the evening, the temperatures still hovered in the mid-90s when the players took the field to max out on the power cleans in front of a few hundred fans at Broncos Stadium.
Despite the heat, the Broncos once again put on a show and saw several players set new personal records.
“I am so proud of our kids, man. Honestly, we saw a bunch of guys get personal best out here tonight.” Mustang coach Lee Blankenship said. “I love horsepower night because it’s just an opportunity for our kids to showcase how hard they’ve worked all through the summer. Tonight wasn’t work. It was just fun.”
No one appeared to have more fun than Caston ‘Bear’ Meadows. The senior linebacker had the top lift of the night with 315 pounds.
“I just wanted to get as much as I could,” Meadows said. “Every time I get up there, I just say, I got one more in me no matter what I’m going against. I just got to get it.”
Having his teammates and fans root him on was also key for Meadows.
“I just love this community and they are just always here to encourage us and they love us no matter what,” Meadows said.
Meadows was one of four players to join the 300 pound lift club. A couple of dozen hit the 225 mark as well.
“Obviously we had some guys surprise us and do a little bit more than they were expected to,” Blankenship said. “And that’s always fun to see, but when you get that adrenaline going you never know what can happen. It’s the same thing as Friday night.”
Along with the strength and technique needed to do the power cleans, Blankenship said the competition behind Horsepower Night is also a key trait that translates to the field.
“It’s huge. Even in just events like this where there are people in the seats, there’s a little bit of pressure,” Blankenship said. “There were some nerves and there were some guys that missed their first attempt just because usually we’re lifting in the weight room and nobody’s watching. And now you look up there and there’s 6, 7, 800 people cheering for you. It’s a little bit different. Even little experiences like that help prepare kids mentally for what happens on a Friday night when that pressure is there. So it’s, it’s one of the best things we do in our program and we’re really proud of our kids. We are way stronger right now than when I first started this job. And that’s something our staff is really proud of.”