Wrestling: Gulf has concerns despite SAC title
HOLIDAY - Gulf, the defending Class 1A state champions, won its third consecutive Sunshine Athletic Conference title and the eighth in the last 11 years Saturday at Anclote. But Buccaneers coach Travis DeWalt wasn't exactly all smiles following the tournament. Gulf placed nine wrestlers in the finals but only five took individual championships. "My heart goes out to the four finalists that lost," DeWalt said. "I'm concerned with their losses. It's going to be a deep thought of mine until Monday and then we're going to have to regroup - we're going to have to make some adjustments."Anthony Ayers (130 pounds), R.J. O'Conner (160) and Ladarious Jackson (171) all won their third consecutive individual SAC titles for the Buccaneers. Friday Karr (189) and Jeff Kruse (285) were the other Gulf winners. Anclote's Chris Sorrick earned the school's first SAC wrestling individual championship with a 16-13 decision against Gulf's Anthony Agazarm at 105 and Fivay's Sean Speer did the same for the first-year Falcons with an 11-5 decision against Gulf's Forrest Swartsel at 119. The other two losses for Gulf were at 140 when Elliott Morales of Wiregrass Ranch pinned Spencer Baxter in 3:58 and at 152 when Wesley Chapel's Nick Popolillo pinned Austin Hayes in 1:15. "I want to watch film of them and we'll have to make some adjustments," DeWalt said. "We'll see some of these same guys next week at the district tournament. (The SAC tournament) gives me a great look at what I need to get tightened up in the next seven days." Gulf won the tournament with 280.5 points with Fivay second with 190.5. Some may have been surprised by the performance of Fivay in its first SAC tournament. But not coach Andy Medders. "To be honest, this is what we expected," Medders said after the final team scores were announced. "We spent all week preparing for this - just getting these young kids to buy into this. I knew we couldn't beat Gulf but I challenged them to go after Gulf." Although Speer will be credited with the Falcons first individual SAC championship, he wasn't alone. At 215, Mike Hahn pinned Pasco's Zack Jordan in 3:32 for a second Fivay championship. The Falcons had five wrestlers in the finals, more than anyone but Gulf. Wiregrass Ranch finished third with 140.5 points and all three wrestlers that advanced to the finals were winners. Joining Morales were David Hill (125) and Dylan Koesling (135). Sunshine Athletic Conference at Anclote Team standings: 1. Gulf 280.5; 2. Fivay 190.5; 3. Wiregrass Ranch 140.5; 4. Pasco 139; 5. Mitchell 135; 6. Sunlake 110.5; 7. River Ridge 102.5; 8. Wesley Chapel 90.5; 9. Anclote 76; 10. Zephyrhills 58; 11. Land O' Lakes 48; 12. Hudson 37; 13. Ridgewood 34.5. Championship results 103 - Sorrick (A) d. Aganarm (G), 16-13; 112 - Gamez (P) p. Reed (F), 3:16; 119 - Speer (F) d. Swartsel (G) 11-5; 125 - Hill (WR) d. Timberlake (M), 7-4; 130 - Ayers (G) p. Perez (WC), 3:01; 135 - Koesling (WR) d. DeAugustino (P), 14-4 (major); 140 - Morales (WR) p. Baxter (G), 3:58; 145 - Wertheim (M) d. Hart (S), 9-5; 152 - Popolillo (WC) p. Hayes (G), 1:15; 160 - O'Conner (G) p. Grilli (F), 1:47; 171 - Jackson (G) d. Hahn (F), 20-9 (major); 189 - Karr (G) d. Corrin (RR), 18-9 (major); 215 - Hahn (F) p. Jordan (P), 3:32; 285 - Kruse (G) p. Wilson (P), :35.