The senior is drawing interest from college football recruiters.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Ursuline High's Mike Bartos got his senior season off to a pretty powerful start.
Bartos won a national powerlifting title in the 275-pound weight division at this month's International Powerlifting Association World Championships in York, Pa.
Competing in the 16-17-year-old division, Bartos squatted 700 pounds, benched 400 pounds and dead lifted 600 pounds to win his second national title. He won a national title last year with a different federation.
"I started lifting weights just to get in shape for football," said Bartos, a lineman for the Irish football team. "After that, I just wanted to see how strong I could get."
Bartos broke his leg in Ursuline's first game last year and returned for playoff games against Akron Manchester and Liberty. He wasn't at 100 percent until a few months after the season, he said.
"It was frustrating to miss that much time," he said, "but everything's back to 100 percent."
Bartos competed in a few smaller weightlifting meets this winter, "but it really took a while to get back strength-wise," he said. He usually lifts four to five times per week for an hour and a half to two hours. He also worked out with the team this winter three times a week.
Focused on season
Bartos is one of four Irish players drawing interest from Division I programs, but he's not worrying about college. Yet.
"I'm a lot more worried about what's going to happen 30 days from now against Boardman [in the first regular season game]," he said. "I'm just hoping for a healthy season. Right now, it's all in the open."
Bartos' older brother, John, was a member of Ursuline's state championship team in 2000 and has been a starter on YSU's offensive line the past two years.
"The guys who coached him at Ursuline think [Mike] is significantly better than his brother was at this stage of the game," said Ursuline's second-year coach Dan Reardon. "There are a lot of schools showing interest, but there aren't any offers on the table yet. A lot's going to depend on what he does this year."
Also drawing interest for the Irish are tight end/defensive end Jerome Jones, linebacker Joe Underwood and wide receiver Ray Hightower, Reardon said.
"I think we should have a good season if everyone stays healthy," said Bartos. "Hopefully everything will work out."