“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” 

After last year’s season, the Lady Marauders weightlifting team had a lot of success to follow up for the upcoming season. Maclay senior Lilly Phipps, sophomore Kate Reichelderfer and sophomore Elizabeth Dowdy represented the team at the 2022 Girls Weightlifting State Championships. Reichelderfer placed fourth in snatch in her weight class, having one of the best finishes in Marauder history. Reichelderfer proudly represented the team of 13 girls, but this year, the Maclay girls weightlifting team is adding 16 Lady Marauders to its roster. 

“We have a lot of new members on the team this year and [I am looking forward to] seeing them improve and start their weightlifting journey,” senior Lilly Phipps said. 

The Lady Marauders will be led by head coach Evan Gentry who is excited about the larger team size. The maximum roster size is 30, so the team is one girl shy of maximum capacity.

“I personally feel great,” Gentry said. “The girls are buying into what we are building.”

Sophomore Bella Feijoo is one of the 16 new members of the team this year.

“I’m excited to compete and spend time with my friends,” Feijoo said. 

Furthermore, the team’s large size contributes to its large goals. 

“It’s competitive,” Phipps said. “It’s fun to see everyone jump in their weight and do things we never thought we could do a few years ago.” 

Since Kate Reichelderfer was the only Marauder to place at the state championships last season, Gentry would like to see more girls represent the Marauders at the state championships this year. First, however, the girls weightlifting team must compete at the district and regional meets. The Marauders will not face their biggest competitor during the regular season, but instead, the Suwannee High School girls weightlifting team will be present at districts.

“[Suwannee] is in our district and has won multiple state championships,” Gentry said. “We think this year we have a chance at edging them out.”

In order to pass their biggest competitor, the Marauders have areas they need to improve on for this year’s season. 

“​We are always looking to improve our form and technique when it comes to these lifts,” Gentry said.

Phipps notes that because of the large roster size, the importance of hard work and perseverance will be prevalent to make this year’s district team because only two girls can go per weight class.

“I think it’s going to be challenging once we go to districts because of deciding who is going to go for each weight class,” Phipps said. “It will be interesting to see who lifts the most weight by districts.” 

The Marauders will begin their season with an intrasquad meet on Thursday Oct. 27 in the Peiper Field House at 4:00 p.m.