Dr. Phillips senior lifter steps into spotlight

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  • | 3:34 a.m. April 16, 2015
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DR. PHILLIPS — To try to follow a stellar career in football and weightlifting by his older brother, Victor Clavier, Dr. Phillips senior Gio Clavier often found himself being reminded about how good his brother — currently a football player at Southwest Baptist University — was when he was a Panther.

“We had Gio’s brother a couple years ago, and Gio was much smaller, very quiet — and not as strong as his brother,” Dr. Phillips football and weightlifting coach Rodney Wells said. “We always said, ‘Gio, hey, you gotta lift like your brother. You gotta play like your brother.’ And he wouldn’t say much, but come into his junior year, we saw Gio getting a lot stronger.”

It’s safe to say Clavier has stepped out of his older brother’s shadow after winning the Class 2A District 5 Championship at 199 pounds April 1 to secure his spot at the FHSAA Boys Weightlifting State Championships on Friday at the Kissimmee Civic Center.

“I’m very excited at the opportunity,” Clavier said. “It feels awesome. … I feel like if I do this the way I’m supposed to, then everything will be all right.”

At the district meet, Clavier — who played defensive tackle for the Panthers during football season — benched 350 pounds and successfully cleaned-and-jerked 250 pounds for a meet total of 600 pounds. That was 45 pounds better than the runner-up.

Clavier went hard to work after just missing state a year ago while competing at a heavier weight class and has focused on the clean-and-jerk, a move he prefers and adds with a smile that it is “because it looks the coolest.”

Dropping nearly 40 pounds is tough enough to do on its own, but Clavier’s work ethic allowed him to accomplish that while retaining his strength, making this year’s berth in the state championships possible.

“He started working on technique, and his technique is very, very good and very, very crisp,” Wells said. “It’s awesome because last year he lifted at 238 (pounds), and this year, he lost all the weight — and did it the right way, cut down on his body fat — and he’s down to compete under 199 (pounds). It’s really, really hard to do … He lost 45 pounds of body weight and pretty much kept the same strength.”

Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].


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