Rowland wins 3A-106 Wrestling State Championship

Wresting team finishes sixth overall in state, with two podium finishes


photo by Chatham Ferrell

Senior Ryan Rowland on his way down with his opponent, from Oviedo. He would slam and pin his opponent for the win.

Six wrestlers traveled to Kissimmee for the FHSAA Class 3A Wrestling Championships on March 8-9. Senior Ryan Rowland, who won the 106-pound weight class, became the first Hagerty wrestler to win a state championship.

“Everybody was excited and happy for me,” Rowland said. “Being able to make history at Hagerty is amazing, I just hope that there will be many more after me.”

This is Rowland’s third consecutive year at the state championship, placing second as a sophomore, fifth as junior year, and winning this year. With this momentum, Rowland plans to wrestle in college for his school.

“After placing sophomore and junior year, I was not satisfied,” Rowland said.  “It gave me that extra motivation to work harder to finally become the champ.”

The team would have three more podium finishes with freshman Joe Gonzales, a runner up in the 132lbs weight class, and sophomore Ethan Woods and junior Bo Perkins, who both won their consolation brackets for third place. Gonzalez lost a 3-2 match against three-time state champion Bretli Reyna, from South Dade High School.

Depite a good finish for the freshman, there was a debatable call for stalling on his opponent, which costed him the tying point with the leader, who won the division.

“It could have changed the whole bracket, but that’s okay,” Gonzales said. “I’m going to take it as a learning experience.”

The team will be turning to new athletes to lead the team next year as six varsity players are graduating. Regardless, there will still be a state champion hopeful in years to come.

“I am going to be a state champion,” Gonzalez said.