Ocean Springs graduate competes in Junior Worlds Powerlifting meet

Can you imagine putting a city, better yet an entire country, on your shoulders at just 18-years-old? If you can, then you can understand the life of this junior powerlifter that will compete in world powerlifting meet in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The name Socrates comes from a classic Greek philosopher, but nobody studied the sport of powerlifting like a young Socrates Meza-Ayala at a young age. “I started in the eighth grade, playing football, and just a couple months later, Coach Vic asked me to join powerlifting and I did. I stuck with it since.”

Ocean Springs powerlifting Coach Wade Vick said, “You can see the natural strength and physique early on as a seventh grader even though they weren’t lifting a lot of weight at the time. He started lifting with us as an eighth grader at the varsity level.”

After graduating high school, breaking several records and winning a state championship, Socrates became a member of the USA Powerlifting Community, winning a nationals meet and then got the call to go to Johannesburg, Africa to compete in the Junior World’s Powerlifting meet in 205 weight class. “I started getting stronger and I kept winning so that’s what kept me going.”

Ocean Springs volunteer powerlifting Coach Jason Leone said, “He was a raw athlete. One of the strongest kids I have ever met.”

When Socrates is lifting, he gets into a zone that’s indescribable which makes his max at squat 640. “Socrates is a fundamentalist. He’s just one of those who eats, sleeps, and breathes it.”

“There’s no hyping up Socrates. I can’t do anything to get him hype. He just goes and does it,” said Leone.

After raising money on his own to fund the trip, with generous help from the Ocean Springs Athletic Foundation, Socrates plans to put on a show in South Africa. “I’m trying to win. I’m trying to be number one in the world.”

“Everybody knows Socrates. He’s put in the work. He deserves it,” said Leone.

“To see somebody go ‘man, look at that boy represent Ocean Springs, the state of Mississippi, and the United States of America.’”

Socrates leaves for the Junior Worlds the first week of September.

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