County’s last eight lifters reach FHSAA State Finals at Panama City Beach

BOYS WEIGHTLIFTING

Eagles tow largest-ever

contingency – six – to

elite meet in Bay County

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

Hernando County will be represented by eight lifters – including six from F.W. Springstead in Friday’s Class 2A State Finals – and two in Saturday’s Class 1A State Finals: both at Panama City Beach’s Arnold High School.

Neither Central, Hernando nor Weeki Wachee had anyone reach the 45th FHSAA State Finals this weekend.

For the Eagles, it’s the largest amount of state qualifiers ever. The previous high water mark was five state qualifiers in 2002.

Charles Liggett

With six lifters, SHS tied the Hernando County record of six Hernando Leopards in 2004 State Finals.

Nature Coast’s record for most individual state lifters is three in 2010.

The Sharks are bringing more than one for the first time since Charles Liggett’s troops brought two in 2011.

Six Eagles

SHS will be represented by senior Joey McClure at 169 pounds, juniors Hunter Weaver at 154, Joey Hopper at 183, Adrian Cabrera at 199 and Toby Rahman at 219 along side sophomore Zayne Berry at 199.

Ironically, each of the Eagles, under 16th-year skipper Mike Garofano, are first-time state qualifiers.

As far seedings, Weaver is seeded the highest arriving with the ninth-best total at 154.

Hunter Weaver

However, only the top six lifters reach the post-meet podium for medals.

By comparison, McClure enters 17th, Hopper 18th, Cabrera 13th, Berry 11th, and Rahman 15th.

Of Hernando County’s 11 career state champions, the last was from Springstead – Brandon Holmes at 129 pounds in 2012.

Perennial power Orange Park-Spruce Creek won the 2018 state title, pounding runner-up Navarre, 26-14.

Port Orange-Spruce Creek Hawks

The state crown was Creek’s state-leading 27th overall. They’ve produced a state-leading 90 individual state champions.

The closest area team, Land O’ Lakes-Sunlake, finished third overall with 12 points.

The Seahawks are guided by 1988 SHS graduate Matt Smith and have an excellent chance of returning home with a pair of state champions at 119 and 129 pounds.

Seniors Caleb Huff at 119 and Victor Velez at 129 both enter as the top seeds in the respective 20-member weight divisions.

SHARK SENIORS – NCT seniors Logan Wellman at unlimited and Jessus Torres (right) at 238 will represent the county in Saturday’s Class 1A State Finals in Bay County. Photo by TONY CASTRO

Sharks tow pair

NCT will be represented by seniors Jesus Torres at 238 and Logan Wellman at unlimited.

Of the county’s eight state qualifiers, only Torres is a returnee.

Torres finished ninth overall in 2018 at Arnold High.

This time, Wellman, who did not qualify last season arrives as the highest seed – ranked seventh overall – just one spot away from the podium.

A.J. Fedor

Torres enters seeded 11th overall.

The last Shark to medal at states was A.J. Fedor in 2012 – placing fourth – under Liggett.

Loaded Citrus High walks in with eight wins in eight meets seeking its first-ever state championship.

Three-time regional champion Citrus High is hoping to atone for its fifth-place state finish in 2018.

2019 Hernando County Boys Weightlifting

State Meet Qualifiers

Compiled by TONY CASTRO

2019: (8)

 

NAME

 

SCHOOL

 

YR.

 

CL

 

WGT.

Weaver, Hunter

SPG

11

2A

154

McClure, Joey

SPG

12

2A

169

Hopper, Joey

SPG

11

2A

183

Barry, Zayne

SPG

10

2A

199

Cabrera, Adtian

SPG

11

2A

199

Rahman, Toby

SPG

11

2A

219

Torres, Jesus

NCT

12

1A

238

Wellman, Logan

NCT

12

1A

HWT

 

 

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