Countdown to Kickoff
Tide Set to Host 'Night of Champions' Exhibition


Bama's annual weightlifting event scheduled for Tuesday, April 30
Thursday, April 25, 2002

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The popular "Night of Champions" weightlifting demonstration, featuring members of the Crimson Tide football team, will make its annual appearance next Tuesday (April 30) at 7 p.m.  The event is free to the public and will be held in Coleman Coliseum.

"The Night of Champions weightlifting exhibition is something we started back at Pittsburg State," said Tide head football coach Dennis Franchione.  "It was a huge success here last year and our players have been looking forward to this since the end of spring practice.  The event gives our players some incentives to make steady improvement in the weight room and it is very popular with the players. It gives those who have worked hardest and been impressive in their improvement, a chance to display their ability in front of our fans."

Strength and conditioning coach Ben Pollard picks five players to compete in four categories: bench press, squat, hang clean and incline press.

"Performance usually reaches a peak because it's such an adrenaline rush for them to be out there," Pollard said.   "The Night of Champions is basically the culmination of all the spring and winter weight training. We want people to be impressed with how much work the players have put into the program. It will be a demonstration, not competition.  We'll be trying to max-out in the four lifts.  It is not necessarily just for the high-profile players. It's a reward system and an opportunity for people to see what we do and get an idea of what a 500-pound squat looks like, what a 350-pound clean looks like. We hope that guys will lift more than they ever have.  We've had kids that put up big numbers in front of the crowd, but then go back to regular training and struggle to put up the same numbers. You can't simulate the Night of Champions conditions in the weight room."

Tentatively scheduled to participate are Mark Anderson, Anthony Bryant, J.B. Closner, Dre Fulgham, Atlas Herrion, Jarret Johnson, Clint Johnston, Juke King, Kenny King, Anthony Madison, Antwan Odom, Charlie Peprah, Marico Portis, Theo Sanders, Nick Signaigo, Justin Smiley, Josh Smith, Lance Taylor, Shaud Williams and Cornelius Wortham

At the end of the night, the 4 X 4 Award will be given to every player who has improved in all four lifts.  The Iron Man Award, based on proportionate amount of weight lifted per pound of body weight, will also be awarded.