Strong wins at West Stokes Lineman Challenge


South Stokes Matt Patane prepares for the tire tug finale. The senior finished first in the farmer’s carry, tire flip, second in the sled pull, and third in throwing a 15-pound medicine ball the furthest.

West Stokes Alex Helvey competes in the tire flip.

West Stokes senior Josh Goad pulls out a win in the tire tug event.

West Stokes coach Jimmy Upchurch talks to the 140 athletes from seven schools who participated in Thursday’s annual Lineman Challenge.

North Stokes Paden Lungrin pushes through the farmer’s carry, a device filled with water and estimated to be nearly 50-pounds.

South Stokes Robbie Hennelly prepares to throw a 15-pound medicine ball while positioned on his knees. The senior went on to win the sled pull event.

A West Stokes athlete runs the farmer’s carry course.

“The biggest reason we put this on is because you are the guys behind the scenes that do all the work and those pretty boys get all the credit,” West Stokes coach Jimmy Upchurch told a group of over 140 athletes from seven different schools at Thursday night’s annual Lineman Challenge. Joining the Wildcats this year were: South and North Stokes, North Surry, East Surry, McMichael, and Northeast Guilford.

The popular event showcased rigorous competitions geared towards strength, agility, and balance.

Upchurch said these guys don’t get a lot of credit and this was their moment to shine. He credited senior Josh Goad for putting time in the weight room during offseason resulting in a hard-fought tire tug win.

“He’s worked his tail off in the weight room,” Upchurch said.

The coach also praised junior Caleb Spainhour for winning the sled pull and Devan Robertson for raking in second place finishes in the farmer’s carry and medicine ball.

“They worked really hard in the weight room and had a good day,” he said.

Senior Jacob Wagoner won the medicine ball by throwing the 15-pound ball the furthest and ninth grader Lucas Martin came in second in the most tire flips and medicine ball.

“We competed really nice and I’m proud of my guys,” Upchurch said. “They get a chance to come out and compete with others. We’ve got some good kids that have worked hard and bought into our program.”

South Stokes Matt Patane dominated with first place finishes in the farmer’s carry and tire flip. He also finished second in the sled pull, third in the medicine ball and was a finalist in a competitive tire tug.

Senior Robbie Hennelly won the sled pull event.

In the 5-man team tug of war finale West Stokes JV made it to the end, but East Surry took the JV and varsity win.

“That’s a credit to your weight room program and that’s why you did what you did today. It’s impressive,” Upchurch said told the athletes. “Very proud of all you guys. This is one of my favorite things to do during the summer. You get to compete and have a lot of fun. We’ll do it again next year. Keep working hard in the weight room.”

Results from Thursday’s Lineman Challenge:

Ninth Grade

Farmer’s Carry – 1- Noah Holder – North Surry, 2- Ian Simpson – West Stokes, 3- Steven Fatz – South Stokes

Sled Pull – 1 –Steven Fatz – South Stokes, 2- Wilson – E. Surry, 3- Duncan – McMichael

Tire Flip – 1- Nixon – Starmount, 2 – Justice – Northeast Guilford, 3 –Lucas Martin – West Stokes

Most Tire Flips – 1- Jacob Nixon – Starmount, 2- Lucas Martin – West Stokes, 3- Jeffrey Duncan – McMichael

Medicine Ball – 1- Jacob Nixon – Starmount, 2- Lucas Martin – West Stokes, 3- Jeffrey Duncan – McMichael

Tenth Grade

Farmer’s Carry – 1- Ryan Eldridge – North Surry, 2- Timmy Tilley – East Surry, 3 – Parker Pratt – West Stokes

Sled Pull – 1- Ward – North Surry, 2- Collins – West Stokes, 3 – Morgan – East Surry

Tire Flip – 1- Wilkins – West Stokes, 2-A. Lopez – Starmount, 3- Zigler -Northeast Guilford

Medicine Ball – 1- Zigler – Northeast Guilford, 2- Eldridge – North Surry, 3 – Austin Lopez – Starmount

Eleventh Grade

Farmer’s Carry – 1 – Nick Huff – North Surry, 2 – Devan Robertson – West Stokes, 3 – Jeremiah Smith – Northeast Guilford

Sled Pull – 1 – Spainhour – West Stokes, 2 – Nick Huff – North Surry, 3 – Devan Robertson – West Stokes

Tire Flip – 1- Hicks – McMichael, 2 – Matt Patane – South Stokes, 3 – Suarez – East Surry

Medicine Ball – 1 – Nick Huff – North Surry, 2 – Devan Robertson – West Stokes, 3 – Young – North Surry

Twelfth Grade

Farmer’s Carry – 1 – Matt Patane – South Stokes, 2 – Ben Chilton – East Surry, 3 – Alex Finney – West Stokes

Sled Pull – 1 – Robbie Hennelly – South Stokes, 2 – Chilton – East Surry, 3 – Wilson – McMichael

Tire Flip – 1 – Matt Patane – South Stokes, 2 – Kiser – East Surry, 3 – Josh Goad – West Stokes

Medicine Ball – 1 – Jacob Wagoner – West Stokes, 2 – Sloan – Northeast Guilford, 3 – Matt Patane – South Stokes

Tire Tug Winners

9th grade – Gardner, Northeast Guilford

10th – Ryan Eldridge, North Surry

11th – Nick Huff, North Surry

12th – Josh Goad, West Stokes

Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.

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