CHOUTEAU, OK —
Chouteau honored several of its state award winners and one national award winner at an assembly Thursday at Chouteau High School.
John Jones, who won the state powerlifting competition at 220 pounds in March, took home a National Amateur Strength Association national championship earlier in April.
Jones, who played football and baseball and is involved in the school's FFA program, didn't get into lifting seriously until his sophomore year.
"Going to the state competition, you kind of know who you'll be up against, what you're ranked," Jones said. "At nationals, I had no idea."
Jones said the biggest difference between competing at the state competition and national competition were the use of metric weights instead of American weights.
"I'm used to pounds and ounces, not kilos," Jones said. "It was kind of confusing, doing all the conversions."
Despite those differences, at the national competition Jones benched 325 pounds, deadlifted 546.5 and squatted 497.5. He also curled 165 pounds and missed setting a national record in that category on a scoring technicality.
Jones said he wanted to thank his parents, his girlfriend and his coach, Mark Jones.
The school recognized head boys' basketball coach Travis Wheeler, who was named coach of the Oklahoma Coaches Association Region 3 small-school team. Wheeler led the Wildcats to the state tournament for the second time in his career in March, tying him for most all-time at Chouteau.
Also honored were senior guards Jordon Shive and Jason Couch. Shive was part of the first-team all-tournament squad named by the Tulsa World. The World named him as one of the top 100 basketball players in the state.
Couch was named to the small-east all-state squad by the OCA last week. Couch, also one of the World's top 100 players in Oklahoma, became just the fourth all-stater in the history of Wildcat basketball. He was named to the all-tournament first team by the Daily Oklahoman and the second team by the World.