Teams to watch
1. Sunlake: The Seahawks have dominated boys weightlifting in Pasco County the past few seasons. Sunlake has won the Sunshine Athletic Conference four years straight, and even with a young team of 51 lifters, coach Matt Smith is looking to make it five.
2. Zephyrhills: The Bulldogs are strong team, especially in the upper-weight classes. Zephyrhills should send at least one, if not multiple lifters to the state tournament.
3. Pasco: The Pirates are a traditionally tough team and this season will be no different bringing in strong lifters, espeically in the higher weight classes.
Lifters to watch
Jacob Morphew, Pasco, Sr., 219 pounds: Finished 12th at states his junior year.
Andrew Ivie, Pasco, Jr., Unlimited: Ready to make a run at states coming off a knee injury.
Josh Ortiz, Fivay, Jr., 119 pounds: Looks to take medal at states in this class.
Mike Wafford, Sunlake, Jr., 139 pounds: Takes a big jump from 119 class and looks to shine at a higher weight.
Malik Mutcherson, Zephyrhills, Sr., 183 pounds: Last year’s SAC champion is looking for a third-straight trip to states.
Justin Shaffer, Zephyrhills, Sr., 219 pounds: A big lifter that will likely qualify for states.
Davion Sutton, Fivay, Sr., 199 pounds: Looking for a strong final season coming off of injury.
Nathan Johnson, Sunlake, Jr., 199 pounds: The Seahawks powerful running back is looking to have a strong second season lifting.
Willie Barrett, Anclote, Sr., 199 pounds: Another powerful running back looks to finish out high school career with a bang.
Conner Murchie, Mitchell, Sr., 219 pounds: Has a legitimate shot at becoming conference champion.
Brandon Simms, River Ridge, Sr., 238 pounds: Smart and athletic, plus should easily clear 600-pound totals each meet.
Wesley Stewart, Sunlake, Sr., 169 pounds: One of the team’s best clean-and-jerk lifters.
Tommy Speer, Sunlake, Sr., 219 pounds: In his first year lifting, but a strong offensive lineman.
Ian Vincent, Mitchell, So., 219 pounds: A fresh face that could challenge for SAC champion.
Schnelange “Alain” Valcin, Sunlake, Sr., 183 pounds: A first-year lifter that could surprise in his weight class.