UNION, Miss. (WTOK) During his four years at Union, Trent McDonald has excelled athletically as a member of the football and powerlifting team.
McDonald has played football for the Yellowjackets since the seventh grade, starting on varsity the past two seasons.
Union head football coach Brad Breland recalls watching McDonald grow up.
"I came here 19 years ago so I've known Trent a long time...pretty much his whole life," Breland said. "He’s always been one of our biggest fans even when he was in elementary school. He would be one of the first ones at the stadium with is papaw. He’s always been a big fan and I’ve enjoyed watching him play the last few years.”
McDonald started the past two seasons as a nose guard for Union’s football team but has been a standout in powerlifting.
Powerlifting head coach Darryl Jones, who coached McDonald in middle school for football, shares how much he's developed throughout the years.
"Trent's always been a real steady worker and just done whatever coaches ask him to do," Jones shared. "He has gotten very strong and always been a team player."
McDonald has been part of Union’s last two powerlifting state titles. The Yellowjackets won the MHSAA 2A North State Title this season and were on track to win another state title before the season was put on hold by the coronavirus.
"For me, Trent and all the other lifters I'm sure there's an emptiness inside," Jones said. "This is the strongest team I have ever coached in powerlifting. We were on track to win another state championship so I know it’s hard on everyone."
McDonald’s powerlifting numbers are impressive: Squatting 635, benching 300 and deadlifting 585 pounds.
I asked him what the secret to his success is. His response:
"Whatever coach tells you to do just do it and that will make you better," McDonald explained. "Run laps and when he says run farther just run hard, don’t stop and try not to get tired."
McDonald’s coaches agreed what they will miss most about him is his positive spirit.
"He’s fun to be around always," Breland shared. "He is always there for a hug or a fist bump or whatever you want to give.
"Just that smile in the weight room and at meets when he completes a lift will be missed," Jones shared. "I really do hope I'll see Trent around even after he leaves."
McDonald and the rest of Union's powerlifting team awaits Governor Tate Reeves' decision on whether or not public school closures will be extended after the current date of April 17.