The Sierra football squad could have certainly benefited from the raw strength and ability senior Isaac Gutierrez possesses.
The 6-foot, 224-pounder opted not play football this season after participating during the first three years of his prep career.
Gutierrez found another passion, though, and it seemed to stem from the routine and vigorous requirements that come with suiting up and competing under those Friday Night Lights – lifting weights.
“I started getting into (competitive) power lifting (in the 2012) summer, and then I stopped for football,” said Gutierrez, who was a right tackle for the squad that featured senior standout running back Anthony Cota. “This year I didn’t play because I liked the power lifting.”
Gutierrez recently broke the 419-pound record for the 17-year-old division for the dead lift at a United States Power Lifting Association event on Dec. 21 at Modesto Power.
Earlier in the fall (Sept. 21), he attempted to set the state record by dead lifting 424 pounds at his debut at another USPA event in Grass Valley (Sierra Nevada Open) — but he didn’t make the weight.
He bounced back at the Modesto event, however, where he hit 430 and set the new state standard for 17-year olds.
Gutierrez knew he didn’t have much time to get his name in that record book, either, considering he turns 18 in January.
“It was like my last shot to get (the record),” said Gutierrez, who also plays golf for Sierra and holds a part-time job at El Pollo Loco as well.
Ron Pagal, one of Gutierrez’s former lower-level football coaches, introduced Gutierrez to the sport of competitive power lifting and he has not looked back. Gutierrez says Pagal power lifts as well and holds a world record for the 65-69 division. Pagal also competed at the Sierra Nevada Open and took first after benching 275 for his age group and hit 402 (first place) for the dead lift.
“I started working out with my sophomore line coach going into my junior year,” he said. “(Pagal) is friends with my dad, so I started going to the gym with him and I started really liking it when I actually realized I could do (well). (Pagal) didn’t coach this year and I decided not to play football and do this instead.”
Gutierrez found time to apply to a couple of colleges in Washington already (Seattle and Northwest Universities) in between his fast-food job, school and working on his new craft in the weight room. Gutierrez also has his sights set on the Army as well after graduation this summer.
“I’m applying for the Army scholarship,” he said. “And I’ve been starting to do cardio and on my off days I train for the Army. I have to do 42 pushups in a minute, 50 sit-ups in a minute and (run) two miles in 15 minutes. That’s my plan.”
Gutierrez sends he spends 4-5 days a week lifting weights and trying to increase his personal bests with the weights. He also plans on breaking the top five this spring for Sierra’s golf team all while maintaining his 3.5 GPA.
“I just like (lifting) because it’s not really a team sport, it’s you versus yourself,” Gutierrez concluded. “You have to first tell yourself you can do it and then you’ll do it. That’s what I like about it.”