Stephen "Micco" Brisker backs up a pair of dominating running backs on the Milton football team, but the sophomore isn't playing because of the typical knock on sophomores that they aren't strong and/or physical enough. Brisker recently set seven national and world records in the bench press, deadlift and squat events at the AAU National Junior Olympic Games in Houston, Tex. Brisker, who recently turned 15 years-old, competed in the 14-15 year-old, 220-pound weight division, powering 463 lbs. in the squat, 512 lbs. in the deadlift and 325 lbs. in the bench press.
Brisker also excels in track and field and wrestling, but it was Milton's football coach Howie DeCristofaro that really turned Brisker onto lifting weights.
"It really started the summer between my eighth and ninth grade," said Brisker. "I started lifting through football and Coach D."
Wes Williams of the Milton High School football Touchdown Club said that DeCristofaro is a major proponent of weightlifting for his players.
"Coach D has been a big influence on Micco," said Williams.
In fact, Brisker said that he does pretty much whatever DeCristofaro tells him to do once in the weight room.
"I don't really have a special coach," admitted Brisker. "I just go into the weight room and look at what Coach D has put up on the white board and I do that (routine)."
DeCristofaro was pleased with Brisker's efforts over the summer, especially after he qualified for the "Steel Talon Club," a distinction that football players can earn with a combined bench, squat and clean exceeding 1,200 lbs. Only 10 Milton players were able to qualify for the achievement this year.
"Micco is one of those players that doesn't need much motivation to do the right things in the classroom, the weight room or the football field," said DeCristofaro. "We are very proud of Micco's world records and can't wait to see him use his talents on the field (the next few years)."
Brisker will also try and help Milton improve upon a second place finish at the state weightlifting championships. Last year without much training, Milton placed second, and this year the Eagles are eyeing the grand prize.
While weightlifting is fun, Brisker said he is ultimately eyeing a football scholarship.
"Weightlifting is a tremendous help (with football)," said Brisker. "It makes you a lot stronger, but I like football. I started lifting as a benefit for football. I'd like to get a scholarship to play in college."
Brisker is only a sophomore, but he is an honors student at Milton and his future looks bright on the gridiron. If Brisker keeps lifting at a world record pace, it will be hard for anyone to deny him success.