BROWNSTOWN — When Cash Zumhingst was a freshman at Brownstown Central High School, he weighed about 163 pounds.
As his sophomore year is coming to a close, the right tackle is up to 216 pounds. On Tuesday night, Zumhingst put on a few more pounds with all of the first-place medals he had draped around his neck.
As the Braves welcomed Bedford North Lawrence to their weight room for a weightlifting competition, Zumhingst won first place in seven of the eight individual categories.
Zumhingst benched the most at 350 pounds, squatted the most at 500 pounds, power cleaned the most at 315 and to no surprise, had the most all-around pounds lifted between the three at 1,165.
He also won first place in the body index for bench press (1.62), squat (2.38) and all-around (5.55). Teammate Isiaah Engle had the best body index for clean at 1.70.
“He’s one of those kids that just works his butt off,” head coach Reed May said of Zumhingst. “He came in freshman year weighing 163 pounds as a freshman. He’s up to 216 now. He loves football, and he loves to work out.”
Some of Zumhingst’s lifts also were school records. His power clean of 315 beat the sophomore record and is 10 pounds off of the overall record. He beat the sophomore power club record and is 30 pounds off of the overall school record, and his 350 bench is just five pounds off of the sophomore record.
“I wasn’t expecting the 500 squat, but it was good,” Zumhingst said. “I’m just focused on bracing my core and staying tight and maintaining good posture.”
The Braves have an opportunity to try to max out the rest of this week, so Zumhingst will get more chances to try to top some of his marks on Tuesday. The next max won’t be until the school year ends in May.
“Probably try to get more in squat and maybe a little more on bench,” he said.
Zumhingst started lifting in eighth grade and said he loved it.
“We lift like six days a week, and we work pretty hard every day,” he said.
Freshman Isaac Hutchinson ended up breaking Zumhingst’s record in the freshman power clean and also broke the power club record.
Hutchinson benched 295 to place third, squatted 435 to place seventh, cleaned 280 to place second and had an all-around of 1,010 to place third.
Other BC athletes earning a ribbon or medal — placing in the top seven — were Carson Darlage (bench), Jairdyn Kiser (squat, all-around), Engle (clean, clean index, all-around index), Preston Garrison (bench index, squat index, clean index, all-around index), Quentin Tiemeyer (squat index, all-around index), Evan Stahl (clean index, all-around index), Jack Pace (clean index) and Bryce Peak (bench index).
As a team, the Braves were able to outlast the Stars 51.90 to 47.22.
“It’s just great to compete with others and see how we do,” Zumhingst said.
This weightlifting competition is something coach May has adopted from his days at Ben Davis.
“Lifting can be a drudgery,” May said. “Having a lift contest gives them a game-type experience. It gets the guys excited, and you have the fans in here, too.”
The Braves had a solid day on Tuesday, and that was even without seven of their starters, who didn’t lift because of injuries.
The grind in the weight room in the spring is what helps make the team ready in the fall when they get out on the football field.
“This makes us. We’re the one sport where you can make yourself into an athlete,” May said. “Baseball, you have to be able to hit the ball. Basketball, you have to be able to dribble and shoot. I was not a very good athlete, but through the weight room and so forth, I was able to play football in college. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a freshman who is so-so, but by the time he’s a senior, he’s a great football player because of the work he did in here.”