Two Hernando County lifters competed in Saturday’s Class 1A FHSAA Finals, and one left DeLand High with a medal in hand.
Central senior Dominique Walker placed fifth at 199 pounds, benching 325 pounds and putting up 265 in the clean-and-jerk for a 590 total. All were personal bests.
“It means a lot to get to states and then to place at states,” Walker said. “I put in the work at home with my dad and it showed today. It’s a blessing to go out in my high school career like this and now I can get ready for college football.”
Walker, who has signed to play football at FAMU, represents the Bears’ first state placer since Chris Sands took over as both football and boys weightlifting coach three years ago.
“It’s kind of what we expected him to do,” said Sands, who had to miss the meet due to the birth of his child. “We wanted a top-five finish and that’s what we got. I’m excited for him and it puts a stamp on his career in high school.
“It means a lot to our program. Not just weightlifting but football, also. Most of our kids are football players. We’ve worked really, really hard in the weight room all season long. We get after it and it’s a testament to our staff and the work we’ve done, and the kids buying in to what we’re doing.”
Hernando junior Colin Pagels posted a 290-265—555 for 19th at 219 pounds.
In other local sports news, Springstead’s softball team lost its top ranking for 6A in the Miracle Sports state poll following Tuesday’s stunning 2-1 loss to 6A-District 6 foe Crystal River.
After giving up two unearned runs in the fourth, the Lady Eagles nearly rallied, scoring once in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Delaney Woodall. It appeared the tying run had scored later in the inning, but was called back due to an interference call.
Springstead (17-2 overall, 7-2 6A-6) fell to fourth in the state poll, but did bounce back with a 2-0 triumph over Hernando on Thursday. Kama Woodall went 2-for-3 with a home run, and also tossed a shutout while walking none and striking out 11.
The Lady Leopards (12-8 overall, 8-1 5A-7) had pounded Fivay two days earlier, 21-1. Kaylee Frascatore went 3-for-3 with two doubles and a triple, driving in three runs and scoring three times. Taliyah Dowdell and Josey Sims also had three RBI apiece.
Nature Coast, ranked 10th in 5A, won 8-2 over Hudson on Wednesday, then lost to 6A’s sixth-ranked Land O’ Lakes on Thursday, 3-1. In the first game, Cerina Brooks finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and Celine Kordon hit a solo homer. Abbey Primavera went all seven innings, giving up six hits and a walk while striking out five.
Springstead’s baseball team, ranked eighth in this week’s 6A state poll by ThePrepZone.com, improved to 16-2 overall and 7-1 in 6A-6 with a 5-3 win at Weeki Wachee on Thursday. Jack Jasiak doubled and knocked in three runs, while Kevin Tomas was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Dalton Mosser tripled and drove in a run for the Hornets.
Hernando (10-6 overall, 7-1 5A-7), topped Nature Coast on Wednesday, 6-3, then dropped a non-district contest at Lecanto on Thursday, 3-2. Brad Ellis was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored against the Panthers, and Connor Morgan and Anthony Urso each had a RBI.
Nature Coast (11-5 overall, 7-3 5A-7) rebounded with a 17-1 win over Gulf on Thursday and an 8-3 victory versus Ridgewood on Friday.
Central (10-7 overall, 5-4 5A-7) won 9-4 against Fivay on Tuesday, getting a double and two RBI out of Trevor Adler, along with a 2-for-5 night with two runs and a RBI from Justin Chevalier.
On Thursday, the Bears downed Hudson, 13-3. Adam Palma went 2-for-4, tripling and driving in four runs. Adler was 2-for-3 with a double, scoring twice and plating three.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.