University of Louisiana’s National Championship Weightlifting Teams
by Warren A. Perrin, Attorney at Law
Part Three: The Culture of Winning
Chapter 4 – The Documentary: Ragin’ 13
I was a member—and captain in 1967—of the 1966, 1967 and 1968 national collegiate championship weightlifting teams. I approached the filmmaker Nicholas Campbell with the idea for a documentary on the team’s history. Happily, he agreed to produce The Ragin’ 13. We all came from unique backgrounds but helped each other to gain a positive attitude through hard work and winning thus gaining pride. It was a shared passion for the sport man against iron that forged the team and its successes. The team had no university sponsored coach; we were self-regulated and motivated and unanimously decided among ourselves which seven members would represent the university at the national meets. I do not recall there ever being any disagreements. The film shows that we had individual commitments to our group effort.
I envisioned the making of a weightlifting documentary as an inspiring story of the 45 student-athletes from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s from diverse backgrounds, who all came together to organize a weightlifting team that dominated the sport. Happily, the team members’ determination and camaraderie remain strong to this day. The film was financed by donations from the former lifters.