Plant City High School’s 2019 graduation ceremony started at 8 p.m. Thursday night — not long after the first pitch of the 8A baseball state championship game was thrown. So with Wednesday’s semifinal win came a dilemma for PCHS seniors in Fort Myers but not on the team: should they stay or should they go?
You could argue the ones who decided to skip their graduation ceremony to witness PCHS athletics history in person made a good call there. The school certainly isn’t fighting that decision, as it hosted a ceremony at noon Friday for the six baseball players and seven other students who were in Fort Myers.
Parents, teachers, coaches, school board members and Mayor Rick Lott were in attendance at the PCHS auditorium for the Friday ceremony, in which principal Susan Sullivan read a short version of her Thursday night speech to the class of 2019 and Lott conferred the 13 new graduates — the “smallest graduating class” in recent history, he joked.
“I’ve known most of you your whole lives and watched you grow up, and I always knew you had greatness inside of you,” Lott said. “We all knew you had greatness inside of you… we’re just really, really proud of you.”
Lott also announced the baseball team will receive a proclamation from the City of Plant City at the June 10 city commission meeting.
The seniors who walked and received their diplomas Friday morning were Hunter Emerine, Grant Gifford, Garrett Gould, Casey Mawhinney, Parker Messick, Cade Shissler, Madilyn Conrad, Kennedy Cullins, Kendall Gaudens, Colton Miller, Caleb Moore, Trevor Sizemore and Jake Stines.