TAMPA — Surprise! Surprise!
Brandon High won the Hillsborough County wrestling tournament on Saturday at Wharton High, giving the Eagles a county team championship in every year since 1972.
The Eagles won in familiar dominating fashion, racking up 10 individual titles and 324 team points, 152 ahead of runner-up Riverview. Hillsborough was third with 163, and Robinson had 143.
“We see this meet as a measuring stick for the upcoming (district, region and state tournaments),” Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. “We want to see how our conditioning and strategy are at this point. I’d have to say I thought everything went pretty well.”
One of the day’s highlights included Brandon 195-pound freshman Bailey Shepherd, who came in seeded third but walked away with a title, defeating Riverview’s Connor Barrick 4-3 in overtime.
Another interesting match was the final one of the tournament between Plant City’s Lance Doenges and Chamberlain’s Robert Mosley in the 285-pound division. Last year, Doenges defeated Mosley three times, so Mosley’s victory Saturday was particularly satisfying.
“I’ve worked really hard on improving my technique and putting on some muscle,” Mosley said. “It feels great to win (the county title) and I hope I can go on and win a state title. I think it’s possible.”
For Brandon, several wrestlers remained undefeated on the season, including Kyle Norstrem at 113 pounds (65-0), James Flint at 126 (26-0), Dylan Lucas at 132 (61-0), Dontae McGee at 170 (53-0).
Robinson’s Luis Peguero also remained undefeated at 182 pounds, winning all four of his matches at the county tournament with pins. He is 38-0 this season.
Pasco cruises to conference title
HUDSON — On the strength of three champions and 12 placers, Pasco coasted to the Sunshine Athletic Conference at Fivay High, winning by 49.5 points over runner-up Mitchell.
Sophomore Lukas Twardosky got it rolling at 106 pounds with with a 4-2 decision over Fivay’s Joey Zizzo.
The other Pirates champions were Skyler White (138) and heavyweight Andrew Ivie.
White, who was the Class 1A state runner-up last season, dominated Mitchell’s Josh Brooks 13-3.
Ivie capped the night with a pin in 41 seconds over Mitchell’s Dillon Bryant.
The Pirates also got runner-up finishes from Tyler Bridenstine (132), Maleak Dawkins(145), T.J. Maple (152) and Nick Burt (220).
Pasco coach Mark DeAugustino said he was satisfied, yet knows the toughest part is yet to come.
“This is just a stepping stone.” DeAugustino said. “My kids have no idea what they’re in store for on Monday. We’re going back to work. If we would have practiced all year like we’re going to practice on Monday, I wouldn’t have much of a team left.”
At 182 pounds, Fivay might have suffered a tough break as returning state placer Nico Lightfoot was injured against River Ridge’s Max Reynolds. Lightfoot’s foot was caught underneath Reynolds on a scramble and the senior couldn’t continue. He was helped off the mat and taken to a hospital for X-rays. Another notable injury was suffered by Mitchell 160-pound junior Storm Schenk, who hurt his collarbone in his first match of the day.
After struggling through a tough win in the semifinals, Schenk chose not to wrestle against Fivay’s Andrew Scherer in the final.