Hempfield thrower has WPIAL's top marks in shot put, discus
If Max Adams progresses as his throwing coach thinks he will over the next few seasons, it's hard to imagine what the Hempfield sophomore can accomplish.
Spartans throwing coach Dave Murray said Adams can be the best thrower ever at the school.
Murray should know — since he began coaching 12 years ago, he's mentored numerous state outdoor and indoor champions, as well as WPIAL champions and place-winners. There are eight former Spartans throwers (boys and girls) competing in college at different levels this year.
Adams, who placed fourth in the discus at the PIAA Class AAA meet as a freshman, already has established himself as the next great thrower at Hempfield. He has the top throws in WPIAL Class AAA in the discus (173 feet, 1 inch) and shot put (56-9½) this season.
“He's very good technically, is strong and works hard,” Murray said. “He's intelligent, and he's a good listener. I look for him to start popping big throws in both.”
Adams' best throw in the discus came in a dual meet against Norwin last month. He won the Westmoreland County Coaches Association titles with a throw of 169-1 in the discus and 56-9 1⁄2 in the shot put.
“The shot was good, but I still can do better in the discus,” Adams said.
“The weather didn't affect me. It was cool, but if you warm up properly, it shouldn't affect you. It's all mental. If you think about the cold, it just gets colder.”
Adams said he has hit 190 feet throwing the discus at practice, and he's looking forward to the next few weeks.
“I feel like I can achieve my goals,” Adams said. “Baldwin (Invitational) is Friday, and the WPIAL qualifier is the next week.”
Adams' goal of being the best in the state almost came to a tragic end during the winter of his freshman year. He nearly cut two fingers off his right hand in a snow blower accident.
“When I went to the hospital, they told me that I was going to lose a couple fingers,” Adams said. “But when we went to Children's Hospital, the doctors there said they could fix it.”
Adams still has the scars from the accident, but the injury hasn't slowed him down.
“He's good enough to win the state title and break the state record,” Murray said. “Will he do it this year? He's capable of it. I'm anxious to see how he does the next few weeks.”
“I always feel I can do better,” Adams said. “I have to keep pushing myself. I'm always thinking of bigger and better things.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-853-5095.