PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Cole Strickland, a Bozeman senior is excelling at weightlifting in his first year on the team. Strickland competed at regionals this past week.

“I mean it’s great, you know it’s something that I enjoy and do good at,” Strickland said of weightlifting. “You know I got to regionals, probably won’t go to state. But I mean it’s still fun you know I’m still here.”

Strickland is a member of the Beta Club, works at a local restaurant, participates in community service and free dives in springs and caves. He’s also planning to major in aerospace engineering at UCF.

“You don’t have a lot of time for free time but you find to make time. I also have a dual enrollment course at Gulf Coast. I do stuff like that too because I was trying to get as much as I can to help me before I go to college. And you know if you’re taking a dual–enrollment course in high school, it is free so you don’t have to pay for it.”

Strickland’s coach said his work ethic is rubbing off on his teammates.

“He’s always willing to help out the younger guys, get them right on their forms and just how they should be doing things and carry themselves as a student-athlete, as evident by him going to UCF and studying aerospace engineering, so he’s a pretty smart kid as well,” Bozeman Strength and Conditioning Coach Avandre Hardy said.

Strickland has a 3.7 GPA, and is interested in studying aerospace engineering for a couple of reasons.

“Funny thing is what got me into aerospace engineering and aircraft is actually Iron Man,” Strickland said. “I saw that and I thought you know it’s my childhood dream to build an Iron Man suit. I don’t know if that would come true with the technology coming up but that’s my dream.

“Legos are a big influence, I always build legos. And I never follow the rulebook, I just build it off my mind. I used to have a lot of ships in my room, probably got lost in the hurricane. But I always like creating stuff and I feel like math might’ve helped with that.”