CONCHS WIN 15TH STRAIGHT WRESTLING DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP; SHEYLA FIGUEIRA EARNS STATE BID

With a third-place medal in her weight class at regionals, Sheyla Figueira, center, earned a chance to compete at the 2024 FHSAA State Championships. CONTRIBUTED

The Key West Conchs are continuing their school-record win streak with 15 consecutive district championships in boys wrestling. The Conchs destroyed their competition on Feb. 15 at Coral Shores High School, with the runner-up trailing by 94 points despite Key West not fielding a 106-lb. contender. Eight Conchs were crowned district champions, beginning with Abram Canet in the 132-lb. class. Also striking gold at districts were James Searcy (138), Dost Bahktiyorov (144), Jason Flynn (150), Alfredo Corrales (157), Roman Saballos (165), Tristan Yokoyama (215) and Ralph Riche (285). Other regional qualifiers for Key West were Michael Guzman, who won silver at 190 lbs.; Elvis Garcia (120), Prometheus Delacerda (126) and Brayan Ayala (175) who each won bronze; and Jacob Ferguson, who took fourth at 113 lbs. In wrestling, the top four places at districts advance to regionals with no at-large spots available. 

Coral Shores did not field a district champion, but still advanced a half-dozen athletes to the next round. Steven DeRobertis (106) and Sebastian McCoy (113) won silver medals while Devin Smith (138), David Beltran (144) and Kevin Pere (165) won bronze. Tristan Court rounded out the ’Canes’ qualifiers at the 157-lb. spot with a fourth-place finish. 

Both teams will travel to Jensen Beach High School on Feb. 23-24 for the FHSAA 1A Region 4 Championships in hopes of cracking the top four spots and advancing to the state meet. The big show is held Feb. 29-March 2 at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. 

Already slated to appear at the state meet is one of the Lady Conchs’ grapplers. While the boys were battling it out at districts in Tavernier, Key West’s girls were at Bayside High in Palm Bay for the FHSAA 1A Region 4 Championships on Feb. 17. Sheyla Figueira wrestled her way to the third-place medal in the 100-lb. bracket, securing her spot at the state championships. This will be Figueira’s second appearance at the state meet after qualifying last year in the Lady Conchs’ inaugural season. 

Tracy McDonald
Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.