Wesley Merriweather's teammates and coaches call him "Wimp."
The Athlete Spotlight is on Greenbrier senior Wesley Merriweather.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Merriweather, a senior at Greenbrier, is actually the strongest 150-pound high school student in Georgia.
Last spring, Merriweather won the state championship in weightlifting at the state meet in Hawkinsville, Ga. He was also the Region Four champ after the region meet in Jefferson County.
"He is the strongest kid, pound-for-pound, I have ever seen," said Greenbrier football coach Mickey Derrick.
At the state meet, Merriweather lifting 1,000 pounds to take the title, which combines bench, squat and power clean lifts. He benched 280, squatted 485, and power cleaned 235.
"Getting into the weightlifting program was key for me," said Merriweather, who also plays football and runs track. "It has helped me overcome my small frame in the sports I play."
Rodney Holder, Greenbrier's assistant football coach and weightlifting coach, advised Merriweather to join the weightlifting team after seeing how he lifted during football practice.
"He is a small guy, but he's as strong as an ox," Derrick said about the 5-foot-7-inch strong safety/tailback. "His strength has made him an important piece of our football team."
Merriweather's strength might be an important attribute, but he also has tremendous speed and athleticism.
He said he runs a 4.3 40-yard dash and has run a 10.7 in the 100 meters. He also jumps about 20 feet in the long jump.
Colleges have begun to notice Merriweather's astounding physical characteristics.
He says he recently received a letter from Vanderbilt about football and has interest in Morehouse and Norfolk State in track.
"All of the attention right now is good, but I am focused on football," Merriweather said. "Football has always been my favorite sport, so I can concentrate hardest on it right now."
Merriweather also says he could do a little better in school, but he might be modest with programs like Vanderbilt and Morehouse interested.
"This season I want to make sure we get back to the playoffs," Merriweather said. "I would also like to make All-County and All-Region."
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