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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 2 years ago

Sports Spotlight - West Orange Times & Observer: Samantha Jefferson

Ocoee High's Samantha Jefferson books trip to state weightlifting meet with district, regional wins.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

It is only her first season competing in weightlifting, but Ocoee High junior Samantha Jefferson already has booked a trip to the state meet in February. A former basketball player for the Knights, Jefferson placed first in her weight class (183 pounds) in both the district and regional meets — lifting a combined 400 and 405 pounds, respectively. Next up for Jefferson is the 2018 FHSAA Girls Weightlifting State Championships Feb. 2 to 3 in Panama City Beach.

How do you think you have done so far in the district and regional rounds of the postseason?

Personally, on the clean-and-jerk, I set a personal record for me — even though I know I can go higher than that. Where I want to go up in is bench. I know I can do it, I just have to get my technique down.


Why did you decide to switch from being on the girls basketball team to weightlifting?

There’s potential in it. My sister (Victoria Jefferson) — she’s really good, and it kind of runs in the family to be strong. So I was like, “Let me put my talent to use somewhere I can excel.”


What’s your favorite thing about lifting weights?

Looking good. Automatically, when you start lifting weights, your body just starts to look 100% better than it did before.


We understand your father, Greg Jefferson, trains both you and your sister. What is some of the best advice he has given you about the sport?

I remember one day he said, “Never say you can’t.” I was saying, “I couldn’t” for a long time — that was the time I couldn’t even get 135 (pounds) up on clean-and-jerk. He told me, “Never say you can’t,” and that just stuck with me. All of a sudden, everything just shot up.


Your sister, Victoria, had quite a career in weightlifting while she was at Ocoee. Is there a friendly sibling rivalry between you two?

There is no competitive relationship, it’s all in good (fun). She has her lane, and I have my lane. We’re two different weight classes. It’s just a fun experience to cheer each other on. She’s watching or I’m watching.


What’s your favorite class?

(Advanced Placement) Language Arts and Composition. I like to write. … I like essays — I get those out pretty quick, and I’m known for being a fast writer. 

If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?

Paris, France. I’m learning French right now, and the culture is just really amazing. 


What do you like to do when you’re not studying or training?

I go church — faith is very big. It’s the only reason why I’m here.


Do you have a favorite Bible verse that inspires you?

There’s so many, but the most famous one is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That’s my daily prayer right there.

Steven Ryzewski was the Senior Sports Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and Southwest Orange Observer....

See All Articles by Steven

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