The Hawks finished second as a team, 1-point behind Navarre.
As North Port’s Peter Pollock prepared for the final two attempts in the clean-and-jerk at the FHSAA state boys weightlifting meet, Spruce Creek’s Phu Bui eagerly watch his opponent from the scorer’s table.
Bui finished the meet with a 520-pound total after a 270-pound bench and a 250-pound clean-and-jerk. Pollock tried to lift 275 on his last attempts. On the second try, he caught the bar, but he couldn’t stand up.
Then came the final attempt. Bui’s heart pounded.
Pollock couldn’t lift the weight.
On the outside, Bui remained calm.
“But on the inside,” he said, “I was screaming.”
Bui and Hawks teammate Marvin Scott became the 37th and 38th Spruce Creek weightlifters to win a state title Bui. Bui won in the 139-pound weight class, and Scott, who is also a standout football player for the Hawks, took the 199-pound weight class.
The Hawks finished second as a team, 1-point behind Navarre, in Class 2A on Friday, April 12, at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach.
Scott began the day missing his first lift, a 395-pound bench press. He hit it on his second attempt and finished with 405, which gave him a 45-pound lead heading into the clean-and-jerk.
He played it safe, lifting "only" 295 pounds.
“It felt good,” he said. “I knew I could have done more — especially on the bench.”
There’s no time for rest for Spruce Creek weightlifters. Not even after winning a state title. Bui and Scott were back in the weight room on Monday, April 15, preparing for next season.
Spruce Creek head coach David Nelson said the standard of excellence for Hawks weightlifting was set in 1978, the year they won their first state title under storied coach Dave Ramey.
“Once something is achieved that, then others believe they can accomplish the same thing,” he said. “A lot of this is a mindset. And that’s what we try to teach our lifters.”