By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
SEHS Lift-a-Thon winner Aubrey Heath displays versatility
Lift-a-Thon winners
South Effingham Lift-a-Thon high-point winners hold up t-shirts which signify their achievements. Winners by grades were (left to right) Reet Malphrus (freshman winner), Ashton Troutman (senior winner), Aubrey Heath (overall winner), Corbin McGuire (junior winner) and Hayden Purvis (sophomore winner). (Donald Heath/Special for the Effingham Herald.)

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON – Aubrey Heath's best spot on the football field still hasn't been determined, but last week the South Effingham senior positioned his versatility front and center.

Heath won the Mustangs' Lift-a-thon July 29 by producing the best score in a competition that combined strength (bench, squat and the clean-and-jerk), speed (40-yard dash and pro shuttle) and agility (vertical jump and broad jump).

Heath took the majority of snaps at quarterback last season, but first-year coach Loren Purvis is weighing possibilities of using 6-foot-3, 205-pounder at wide receiver and defensive back.

"I absolutely believe it's important to be a leader as a quarterback and as a senior," Heath said. "You're setting an example for your teammates to be successful on Friday nights."

Heath won the pro shuttle with a time of 3.83 and, for his position and weight class, scored a top time of 4.49 in the 40-yard dash. He was also second in the squat (500), bench (285), and power clean.

To signify his achievement, Heath claimed the Lift-a-thon champion belt – a cross between something Mike Tyson or Hulk Hogan would've worn proudly. 

"Aubrey has moved around, playing some defensive back and wide receiver (along with quarterback). He's a jack-of-all-trades," Purvis said. "It's fun when you have a kid who can do it all and be your Lift-a-thon champion as well. You like having a guy like that out front."

Over the years, the Lift-a-thon has been a major fundraiser for the football program, but Purvis also liked seeing his players compete with less than three weeks before opening the season with Vidalia on Aug. 18.

Ashton Troutman
South Effingham senior wide receiver Ashton Troutman competes in the 40-yard dash July 29 at the team's Lift-a-Thon competition. Troutman finished second in the event with a time of 4.34. (Donald Heath/Special for the Effingham Herald.)
Champions by grade were: Senior, Ashton Troutman; Junior, Corbin McGuire; Sophomore, Hayden Purvis; and Freshman, Reet Malphrus.

Winners of events were: Bench – Jeremiah Washington (310 lbs.); Squat – Kadin Ward (545 lbs.); Power clean – Kadin Ward, CJ. Lord (265 lbs.); 40-yard dash – Dominic Martell (4.28 seconds); Vertical – Ashton Troutman (35.2 inches); Pro shuttle – Aubrey Heath (3.83 seconds); Broad jump – Hayden Purvis (117 inches).

SEHS had three players break 4.4 in the 40-yard dash – Martell, Troutman (4.34) and Purvis (4.39). Times were recorded by a stopwatch.

Last year, Jamari Fields' 4.4 was the top time in the 40.

"We had all those (fast) guys last year, but it's a testament to all the hard work they've put in, getting into the weight room and buying into our practices," Coach Purvis said.

"Every day we're preaching competition. Some days we don't even touch a football. There's no better way of getting better than competing with yourself and your teammates. I think you also saw a lot of camaraderie. And parents showed up to cheer on their kids and their kids' friends."