Teams to Watch
1. Sunlake: The Seahawks are developing their program and Coach Denise Garcia should have some top lifters in mix. Junior Alex Ruiz took home fifth in state in 110-pound class and is this year's top returner.
2. Gulf: The Buccaneers have two of the top lifters in the group in Amber Maxey and Page Pinder plus they have a full lineup.
3. River Ridge: Led by state lifters in Alexis Licalsi and Elicia Hinson, the Royal Knights won the Sunshine Athletic Conference title last year but are down in numbers. Still, coach Mike DeGennaro has habit of turning strong girls into state qualifiers and at least one of his girls usually takes home a medal.
4. Mitchell: The Mustangs have one of top lifters in Megan Giordano and should be able to compete this year for state qualifiers and in the conference.
5. Zephyrhills: The Bulldogs return state qualifier Carly Patton for her senior year and may send others to state as well.
Victoria Brown, Hudson: She is a junior in the 101 pound class.
Stephanie Bazsuly, Hudson: A freshman in the highly competitive 110-pound class.
Cheyenne Gottman, River Ridge: A sophomore competing in the 129-pound class and River Ridge pumps out medal winners.
Brittany Forisse, River Ridge: The junior will compete in the 154-pound class. If she has the desire, discipline, poise and strength, she may earn herself a trip to Kissimmee in February.
Keep your eye on
Alex Ruiz, junior, Sunlake: Ruiz qualified for state last year and took fifth in the state at the highly competitive 110-pound class. She looks like she should medal again and might be able to take home Pasco County's first ever FHSAA state title.
Alexis Liscalsi, junior, River Ridge: She lifted last year at state in the 139-pound class. Over the summer, she won a national title in the USA Weightlifting girls event. She won the 63-kilo class. She should medal this year.
Carly Patton, senior, Zephyrhills: She qualified for state in the 139-pound class and may medal this year.
Elicia Hinson, senior, River Ridge: She qualified for state last year in the 129-pound class and may take home some hardware this year.
Megan Giordano, senior, Mitchell: She qualified for state last year in the 129-pound class and may medal this year.
Baily Foster, junior, Hudson: She competed in the 199-pound class last year and may earn her way to state this year.
Amber Maxey, junior, Gulf: She won her 154-pound class in the conference and may be state-bound.
Page Pinder, junior, Gulf: She may be headed for state in the 119-pound class. She won her SAC class.
Ashley Rodriguez, senior, Ridgewood: She may compete in the 110-pound class at state.
Victoria Schaeter, junior, Ridgewood: She may be state-bound in 119-pound class.
Compiled by correspondent Larry Bugg