High School Strongman Competition returns to Columbiana County fair

LISBON – A renewed feature of the Columbiana County Fair this year will be the High School Strongman Competition.

“We invited local high school football teams in the area to compete against each other,” said Tresa Unkefer, secretary of the fair board.

Paul Lease, a director of the fair board, said he had come up with the idea a few years ago, and they were able to do it in 2006 and 2007 but had to stop because of the timing. He said the local football teams couldn’t come due to scheduling conflicts with the playoffs, but this year, the timing happened to fall between sessions.

“The kids and coaches really enjoyed it,” Lease said. “I’m glad we could get it back.”

The competition includes the sandbag relay, where players carry sandbags 200 feet as quickly as they can and stack them up and get points based on which teams do the best.

Another competition is the heavy sandbag event, where five players from each team will carry a 125-pound bag the length of the track, which is 200 feet long, and back as long as they can and when they can’t do it anymore, the next player takes over. Whichever team lasts the longest will win.

A third competition for the Strongman is the tug-of-war which leads to another competition where the tug-of-war rope is tied to a tractor and 10 players pull it. Whichever team pulls it the quickest will win.

Whatever team has the most wins by the end will win a traveling trophy – the trophy will be continuously passed on from year to year with the winners’ names added on to the plaque each year. The last year it was held, Beaver Local won and will have to bring the trophy back so it’s up for grabs.

“We invited all the local football teams in the county,” Lease said. “We have at least five committed now.”

The Strongman Competition will be 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 and is a free Grandstand event.

“The fans really like it and everybody has a really good time.” Lease said. “It’s a fun-filled event.”