Among the numerous Galveston County high school athletes who saw their seasons cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic were two Santa Fe powerlifters who were looking forward to competing for a state championship.
Jake Cavness, a junior, has been on the Indians powerlifting team since his freshman year and would have been competing at state for the first time, had the cancellations not occurred.
“It’s been a lot of really hard work, and my brother, who’s also my coach, has been a big influence on me to work hard every day and push me past my limits,” Cavness said. “I’m really thankful for that. Every day, I work very hard, and the outcome was remarkable.”
To book his trip to the state powerlifting meet, Cavness placed second at regionals in the 123-pound division. He totaled 980 pounds in his three lifts — 405 pounds in the squat, 225 pounds in the bench press and 350 pounds in the deadlift.
“You really have to have a good mindset, and you really have to work hard for it; it’s not going to be given to you,” Cavness said.
Keira Rodriguez, a senior, joined the powerlifting squad her sophomore year after being recruited from the cheerleading team, and this year’s state meet also would have been her second consecutive trip.
“It was really fun when I went to meets, so that’s why I kept doing it,” Rodriguez said.
At regionals, Rodriguez, who was the only Santa Fe girl competing, claimed a gold medal in the Class 5A 114-pound class and was fourth, overall. She totaled 550 pounds with a 215-pound squat, a 120-pound bench press and a 215-pound deadlift.
“The judges were working us really hard,” Rodriguez said. “They were being really tough on us this year.”
Cavness was hoping to set new personal lifting records at this season’s state meet and eclipse the 1,000-pound mark in his total, while Rodriguez was looking forward to redemption after a less than stellar showing at state last year.
“I felt bad that I didn’t do great last time,” Rodriguez said. “I think I was just nervous because there was a bunch of people there.”
Cavness is now eying a return to their sport with rekindled vigor to achieve their long awaited state championship dreams.
“The fact that I wasn’t able to make it to the state meet this year because of the coronavirus, it’s bad, but it also gave me a lot of motivation to push myself harder for next year, since next year is my last year,” Cavness said. “I just want to push myself to my limits so I can go next year.”
For Rodriguez, though, this season was her final chance to compete for a state title.
“I was pretty upset about it because I had things planned,” Rodriguez said.
C.J. Cavness, Jake’s older brother, coaches the Santa Fe Indians powerlifting team.