The 136-pounder seized the opportunity to win the state championship in the 165-pound weight class, set a new record in the deadlift, and was named the # 1 Outstanding Lightweight Weightlifter in the Allstate Sugar Bowl / LHSAA Boy's State Powerlifting Meet Saturday.
Launey, the quarterback of his high school football team, began weightlifting in football.
"I had it in the last deadlift last year and I dropped the bar and was disqualified," Launey said after receiving his awards. "I took a lot for football and a few buddies picked it up, so we started a team. It's great to be with the team and to improve each other. It's pretty cool to see these guys grow. "
Launey's performance was a highlight of the day, crowning champions in Division I (5A schools), Division IV (2A schools) and Division V (1A and A, B and C classes) , Alexandria Senior High was the Division I champion with St. Paul as runner-up. Calvary Baptist received the title of Division IV with Winnfield in second, while Delhi Division V with Cedar Creek.
In addition to Launey, who wants to attend the Air Force Academy after graduation, Dylan Vidrine of Sacred Heart won the state championship in the 132-pound weight class. In Division IV, Jakailan Fontenot of Ville Platte won first place in the 114-pound class, Quincy Bias of Ville Platte won the 242-pound weight-class title and Travian Ardoin of Ville Platte won the 275-pound weight class.
Outstanding lifters in the boys competition on Saturday were:
• Division I, Lightweight Ahmad Coleman of Holy Cross and Heavyweight Hayden Willis of Dutchtown
• Division IV, lightweight Declan Lockwood of Northlake Christian and heavyweight Philip Legeler of Calvary Baptist
• Division V, lightweight Wesley Launey of the Sacred Heart Ville plate and heavyweight Matthew Thibodaux of St. Mary's Catholic
The action on Saturday ended a three-day tournament at the Rapides Parish Coliseum, where nearly 1,000 student athletes fought for team and individual titles. Officials estimate the total attendance of the event at 2,525, 125 more than last year.