It took less than five years for Cypress Creek High to win its first state title.
Andje Costa, who has since graduated and is headed to the University of South Florida, captured the Class 2A 101-pound weight snatch state title in weightlifting in February, giving the Coyotes its first state title, in any sport, in school history.
“They worked hard over (last) summer and even asked me if they could be like other programs — River Ridge, Sunlake — and get in their early, work out more to prepare for this past season,” said girls weightlifting coach Tico Hernandez, who is also became the school’s athletic director in April. “We’ve got a great group of girls and had six of them qualify for states.”
Costa nabbed gold at Port St. Joe High by doing a snatch lift of 105 pounds, just 5 pounds more than the second-place finisher. And she did it on her final attempt.
Teammate Sienna Silvest, in the 110-pound class, finished tied for third in the traditional weightlifting competition, finishing with 250 pounds total.
“We’ll be just as good next year, too,” added Hernandez.
Cypress Creek High School opened its doors in 2017 and has had its fair share of success in athletics, despite spring sports missing out in 2020 due to COVID closures.
Hernandez believes the school’s coaches are dedicated to developing teams that are competitive with Pasco schools that have a longer history.
“I definitely think that the coaches, not just for our sport, but all sports, feel like they’re playing catchup with Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass and even Sunlake,” he said. “Which is great because that’s a lot of commitment to our athletes and getting them ready to compete at the highest level. And I think our coaches are doing a great job for our kids to be able to do that.”