---- — By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
MILTON -- A burning desire to play varsity football last year led to a challenge from Milton head coach George Goodwin to Glen Pfleegor Jr.
Goodwin suggested that Pfleegor Jr. begin weight lifting to bulk up, and he took the challenge to heart.
Pfleegor Jr., a junior, successfully defended his title at the 2014 International Powerlifting Association Pennsylvania State Championship at the York Barbell Company in York last weekend. He won the 132-pound weight class for boys ages 16-17, and also won the men's open competition for the same age and weight class.
In two short years, he's won nine titles and three state powerlifting championships.
"It's good that he's doing that; it's a credit to the kid and to his dad," Goodwin said. "He's there for us every day. He's a great kid."
In winning last year's title, Pfleegor Jr. did a squat of 175 pounds, he benched 115 pounds, and his deadlift was 250 pounds for a total of 540 pounds.
This year, he increased his total weight by 55 pounds with a squat of 200, a bench press of 110 and a deadlift at 285.
He also grew two inches from last year and participated in 12 varsity and five junior varsity wrestling matches while making it to sectionals at 138.
"It was a great experience to win the title again," Pfleegor Jr. said. "I've gotten stronger since last year and my dad and my coaches are pushing me to work harder."
Pfleegor Jr. saw action with the varsity football team last season at defensive back, wide receiver and on special teams. He was credited with a fumble recovery and he converted a 2-point attempt against Carson Long.
Pfleegor Jr. is on the track team again this year where he'll add the javelin to his 200- and 400-meter events.
Last year, Pfleegor Jr. was given the 2012-2013 Triathlete award at Milton for lettering in football, wrestling and track.
His father, Glen Sr., is a Milton graduate and a former football player.
"He told me that he wanted to go back to states this year to win another title so that he could be like his friend Ryan Solomon, a two-time state wrestling champion," Pfleegor Sr. said.
Pfleegor Jr. got a boost to his confidence for returning next year from the head judge at the tournament.
In the deadlift competition, he successfully lifted 260 and 285 pounds. For his third lift, he was at 305 pounds, with his best deadlift to date being 310.
"For the competition, you have to have two of the three lights to be white for it to be a good lift," Pfleegor Sr. said. "The head judge gave him a good lift, but the side judges didn't agree, saying his back wasn't back far enough for his knees to be locked."
"The head judge told Glen afterwards that he had a good lift. He went on to say even if he had been the side judge, his lift according to him would still have been good," Pfleegor Sr. continued. "He also told him not to be ashamed of it as every judge is different and this time it was a judgment call on their part."
When asked if he could win the title again in 2015 and lift more weight, Pfleegor's answer was emphatic: "Yes, I can."