Sebastian Fernandez and Lex Strickland will represent the Chargers and the Plant City area at states this week.
After the FHSAA Class 3A-Region 2 championships came to a close last week, two Plant City-area wrestlers could say they made the cut for this weekend’s state championship tournament.
Sebastian Fernandez and Lex Strickland, both of Strawberry Crest High School, will get a chance to bring some more state championship medals back to Dover this week. At least one win would give Crest its first state wrestling champion since Cullen Telfer won the 138-pound division as a freshman in 2015.
Fernandez (20-6), a senior, had the best finish of the two at regionals. He scored three consecutive wins by fall to get to the 285-pound division championship match, but then lost to Grant Gelazin of Palm Harbor University (33-1) by fall (1:20) to claim second place.
Strickland (21-9), a freshman, placed fourth overall in the 170-pound division. After losing his first match to Kissimmee-Osceola’s Donovan Bohanan, Strickland powered through to the final round of the third-place bracket with two wins by fall and one 8-3 decision. He lost to Lakewood Ranch’s Ranson Coons (39-6) by fall (2:18) in the third-place match.
This year’s FHSAA state championship tournaments will be held tomorrow and Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee. Tickets are $9 if purchased online in advance (ticketmaster.com/fhsaa-wrestling-tickets/artist/1540379?CAMEFROM=CFC_OHP_WEB_WEBSITE_OHPARK) and $12 if purchased the day of. Parking is $10 per vehicle, but you can also watch online at NFHSnetwork.com if you can’t make it in person.