Janet Schrader, Democrat Reporter

Suwannee weightlifting had a tremendous year. The Dogs won the district and the sectional championships and placed fourth in the state. The Gainesville Sun must have noticed because they named 10 Suwannee lifters to their All-Area teams and named Butterbean Wooten one of three Lifters of the Year. Wooten was the only lifter from a 1-A team to be named. The other two lifters are from Columbia and Gainesville, both 2-A teams.

Butterbean Wooten had a great year. He dominated the heavyweight division, out lifting even the Class 2-A heavyweight lifters. Wooten, at 5'9" and 338 pounds, is a junior working hard on leaving a legacy of powerlifting at Suwannee High behind when he graduates next year.

Wooten's numbers have been incredible and an inspiration to a team that is growing stronger and larger every year. Wooten didn't achieve his personal goal of 800 total-pounds-lifted this year, but he came close with 750. Wooten took first at state lifting 450 on the bench and 300 at the clean and jerk. This state title is the first Suwannee has held since Adam Bricker won in the 119 weight class in 2000.

Wooten was named to the Gainesville Sun's All-Area First Team in the heavyweight division.

Making the second team from Suwannee were Damione Gillyard in the 139 weight class, Greg Gabey in the 183 weight class, Matt Douglas in the 199 weight class, Eric Wright in the 219 weight class and A.J. Schuler in the heavyweight division.

Making the All-Area Honorable Mention list from Suwannee were Brian Campbell in the 129 weight class, Nick Beck in the 169 weight class, Alan Clayton in the 169 weight class and Michael Wright in the 238 weight class.

All 10 Suwannee lifters that qualified for state were named on one of the Gainesville Sun's All-Area teams.

Coach Dan Marsee said he was proud of the team's efforts and is looking forward to a great season next year.

Janet Schrader may be reached by calling 1/386/362-1734 ext. 132 or by e-mail at janet.schrader@gaflnews.com.

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