Dr. Phillips senior Shaquille Kellyman sets school record with 400-pound bench press.
Dr. Phillips senior Shaquille Kellyman did more than just earn a trip to state when he placed first in his weight class at the regional championship for boys weightlifting last week. Kellyman, who won the 219-pound weight class at the FHSAA Class 2A, Region 5 Championships March 28 at West Orange High, bench-pressed 400 pounds as part of his total of 625 pounds — with his remarkable bench press setting a school record. Kellyman, who also plays football and wrestles for the Panthers, will compete at the FHSAA Boys Weightlifting State Championships April 6 and 7 in Panama City.
Had you bench-pressed 400 pounds prior to the regional meet?
I’ve done it without being paused (in weightlifting, after receiving the bar the lifter must lower the bar to his chest and await the chief referee’s signal before pressing). I was always confident in myself — I knew I could do more. That’s why I was able to do it.
What was the reaction like from the crowd once you successfully did the lift?
Everybody was pumped up — people in the stands, people behind me. Everybody was excited.
What do you enjoy about doing the bench press and the clean-and-jerk, respectively?
With the bench press, you get to show off how strong you are and your upper body. With the cleans, it’s mostly technique.
What do you think was special about this year’s football team — that it was able to win a state title?
This team that I’ve been a part of this season was like a family — we didn’t have separation between each other. We just worked together as one unit.
Having had coach Rodney Wells for two sports, what have you learned from him?
He has a mentality that’s like, “It’s not over until it’s over.” So you keep pushing and you keep going no matter what happens.
How are you going to prepare for the state meet?
I’m just going to focus on my technique and getting stronger — the basics. I’m going to try and keep a clear mind.
Are you planning on going to college and, if so, what career path are you hoping to pursue?
I’m going to Valencia for an associate’s degree in health science. … I probably want to be an athletic trainer.
Who has been your favorite teacher from your time at Dr. Phillips?
Her name is Mrs. (Laura) Doud. … She helps you with anything you need help with, and she always encourages you to keep going.
What’s the biggest difference between living in Brooklyn and living in the Dr. Phillips area?
In Brooklyn, there’s more people, but here, it’s more calm and quiet.
What’s the best life advice anyone has given you?
The best advice is just to keep faith and keep on pushing, no matter what tough times come your way.