Nearly 100 football players along with their family members, friends, and coaches packed the Palmerton High School gymnasium this past Sunday for the eighth annual Blue Bomber Football Invitational Weightlifting Competition.

Meet newcomer Whitehall captured the team championship on the strength of six gold, seven silver, and eight bronze medals. The 40 team points earned by the Zephyrs were enough to comfortably better Palmerton and Panther Valley's total of 21 each for the team title. Palmerton finished in second and Panther Valley in third based on the tie-breaker criteria of more gold medals.

Three meet records were broken and one tied in the event. One of the new record holders, Palmerton's John Snyder, stole the show. Weighing in at 251 pounds, Snyder smashed the previous weight class and overall meet record by squatting an astounding 565 pounds to go along with his bench press of 365 pounds to total 930 pounds beating the previous meet best total by 85 pounds.

Both of the Meet's Most Outstanding Lifters came from team-champion Whitehall. In the 16-18 year old category, James Wah earned the trophy for his lifts of 400lb in the squat and 225lb in the bench while weighing in at just 150lbs. In the 14-15 age group, top honors went to Jeff Cordon with a very impressive 510lb squat and 285lb bench, while weighing 225lbs.


1. Whitehall 40 points; 2. Palmerton 21; 3. Panther Valley 21; 4. Tamaqua 16; 5. Mahanoy Area 15

Individual Results

14-15 year-old division

120-pound weight class

GOLD: Seth Oriel, Panther Valley 255 (150/105)

135 pounds

GOLD: Ronnie Okungu, Whitehall 465 (290/175);SILVER: Austin Young, Whitehall; BRONZE: Zane Eickoff, Panther Valley

150 pounds

GOLD: Nathanial Hower, Panther Valley 515 (325/190); SILVER: Kyle Ferryman, Panther Valley; BRONZE: Conner Sullivan, Whitehall

165 pounds

GOLD: Anthony Dex, Whitehall 520 (320/200); SILVER: Mike Tsamutalis, Whitehall; BRONZE: Saquan Barcley, Whitehall

180 pounds

GOLD: Dylan Moyer, Panther Valley 500 (285/215); SILVER: Matt Meyers, Whitehall; BRONZE: Jacob Horn, Palmerton

195 pounds

GOLD: Tre Nelson, Palmerton 630 (365/265); SILVER: Tyler Skripko, Tamaqua; BRONZE: Danny Roustic, Whitehall

210 pounds

GOLD: Josh Katchmar, Mahanoy Area 665 (365/300) * Ties Meet Record; SILVER: Anthony Maradeo, Palmerton; BRONZE: Zach Merenda, Tamaqua

225 pounds

GOLD: Jeff Cordon, Whitehall 795 (510/285) * New Meet Record; SILVER: Rian Shubeck, Panther Valley; BRONZE: Devin Murphy, Tamaqua


GOLD: Stephen Bolousky, Mahanoy Area 650 (385/265); SILVER: Orlando Bonilla, Whitehall; BRONZE: Edgardo Rivera, Whitehall

16-18 year-old division

150 pounds

GOLD: James Wah, Whitehall 625 (400/225) * New Meet Record; SILVER: Garrett Stahler, Palmerton

165 pounds

GOLD: Nick Hollenbach, Tamaqua 635 (355/280); SILVER: Darius Young, Whitehall; BRONZE: Jacob Peck, Palmerton

180 pounds

GOLD: Austin Forte, Mahanoy Area 655 (410/245); SILVER: Nick Sommer, Whitehall; BRONZE: Carlos Figueroa, Whitehall

195 pounds

GOLD: Zach Tidmore, Blue Mountain 685 (380/305); SILVER: Nick Coccio, Tamaqua; BRONZE: Eugene Kochen, Panther Valley

210 pounds

GOLD: Jake Kerchner, Whitehall 720 (475/245); SILVER: Richie Smith, Panther Valley; BRONZE: Kenny Mann, Whitehall

225 pounds

GOLD: Alex Zmyewski, Palmerton 620 (375/245); SILVER: Shawn Glosek, Whitehall; BRONZE: Pat Lynch, Whitehall

255 pounds

GOLD: John Snyder, Palmerton 930 (565/365) * New Meet Record


GOLD: Aaron Genevese, Whitehall 770 (450/320); SILVER: Cody Houser, Tamaqua; BRONZE: Shawn Cramsie, Whitehall

NOTE - Listed are the medal winners with their overall total and squat and bench lifts in parenthesis. The lifts were performed 'raw' meaning no knee wraps, bench shirts, or wrist wraps.