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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Brandon wrestling takes 40th straight title

SEFFNER — Brandon may have had its national record streak snapped a few years ago at 459 consecutive dual match victories, but several Eagles’ streaks remain unblemished.

Brandon owns a streak of 13 straight state team titles, 42 consecutive county team titles, and after Saturday’s team victory at the Class 2A-District 7 championships, 40 consecutive district team titles.

Brandon cruised with 12 individual titles in the 14 weight classes and racked up 283 points, 146 ahead of Lake Gibson. Auburndale (104) was third, followed by Winter Haven (100) and King (72).

“I’d say we accomplished just about everything we set out to do today,” Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. “We wanted to position ourselves to have a solid run at next week’s regionals (Friday and Saturday hosted by Brandon). I feel we definitely did that.”

One of the more encouraging finals matches for Brandon came at 152 pounds when Eagle Tommy Fretwell won with a pin after coming into the tournament seeded third.

Several Brandon wrestlers also remained undefeated on the season: Frankie Bruno at 106 (44-0), Kyle Norstrem at 113 (65-0), James Flint at 126 (27-0), Dylan Lucas at 132 (60-0) and Dontae McGee at 170 (51-0).

Scott Purks

3A-6: Doenges, Merkel earn championships

LAKELAND — Plant City’s Lance Doenges at 285 pounds and Plant’s Patrick Merkel at 170 pounds were the lone wrestlers from Hillsborough County to win individual titles at Saturday’s Class 3A-District 6 tournament.

Lakeland ended up edging host George Jenkins for the team title 220-216. Strawberry Crest was third with 105, followed by Plant (76), Wharton (58) and Plant City (54).

Six from Hillsborough — Strawberry Crest’s Farron Rainford (220), Wharton’s Kevin Ramos (152), Strawberry Crest’s Amor McNamee (132), Plant’s Michael Weishaar (113) and Wharton’s Gabriel Aleman-Perez (106) — finished as runners-up.

Scott Purks

3A-8: Calderon, Culver, Haley, Burns triumph

PLANT CITY — East Bay’s Ricardo Calderon and Mason Culver, Durant’s Austin Haley and Newsome’s Alvin Burns captured titles at the Class 3A-District 8 wrestling finals Saturday at Durant.

The two teams located farthest south in the district — North Port and Bradenton Manatee — finished 1-2 in team standings with 205 and 189 points. Riverview was third with 140 and Durant fourth with 110.

Six Manatee wrestlers won championships while North Port had four champions.

One of the most competitive matches involved 120-pound Haley of Durant and Kizhn Clarke of Riverview, who battled back and forth for three periods before Haley came from behind in the last period to win 11-9.

“He’s all heart,” said Durant coach Drake Millard. “By a force of will he won.”

Calderon pinned Cody Craven of Durant with 29 seconds remaining in the third period. With the win, he passed his brother Ismael for most wrestling victories at East Bay. Calderon is 128-50 for his four-year career and 40-4 this year.

One of the toughest matches of the night was between Connor Barrick of Riverview and North Port’s Marcus Kirkland, who were tied 0-0 after three periods, but Barrick lost in two overtimes, 2-1.

Newsome’s Burns (220) beat his North Port opponent 8-4, leading the entire match.

In the 285-pound division, Culver shut out his North Port opponent 4-0.

Barry Carroll

2A-8: Jesuit rolls past Robinson

TAMPA — Jesuit coach Mike Scicchitano had to battle a bad cold and was still able to yell out instructions to his wrestlers, who easily won the Class 2A-District 8 championship at Chamberlain on Saturday.

Scicchitano could barely speak after the tournament, but his team got the message. Jesuit won easily with 236.5 points, outlasting Robinson (141) and Hillsborough (124.5) in the 13-team field.

“Now we are just thinking about regionals,’’ Scicchitano said. “We have wrestled a tough schedule so I know we can be ready for anything down the road, but it’s all about regionals right now.’’

The Tigers got off to a quick start when Jarrett Roop opened with a win in the 106-pound class, and R.C. Consuegra won at 126 with a lopsided decision.

Adam Lewis was barely challenged at 138, and Brian Baser rolled at 152. The Tigers closed it out with Nick Mosco (195) and heavyweight Austin Underwood, a University of Virginia signee, who won all three of his matches by falls.

Jesuit will run into national powerhouse Brandon in the region.

“This is the best Jesuit team I have ever been on,’’ Underwood said. “Our motivation is state, but there’s a lot we can’t look past in regionals.’’

Kionte Crocker (145), Luis Peguero (182) and Kendonte Nichols (220) won titles for runner-up Robinson.

Jeff Berlinicke

1A-6: Pasco edges Nature Coast 163-157

BROOKSVILLE — Going into the finals of the Class 1A-District 6 championship round, Brooksville Nature Coast and Pasco were in a virtual dead heat. Nature Coast led 138-137, and each team has six wrestlers going into the finals. In the end, it was Pasco wrestlers who came as the Pirates edged Nature Coast 163-157.

Just like last week at the conference tournament, it was Pasco 106-pounder Lukas Twardosky who got the ball rolling. The lightning-quick sophomore major decisioned Brandon Smith of Weeki Wachee 11-0. From there, the usual Pasco wrestlers followed suit.

Skyler White, who was a 1A state runner-up last season, was hardly tested Saturday. He won at 138 with a convincing second-period pin of Nature Coast’s Jeramie Jazikoff. T.J. Maple (160) and Andrew Ivie (285) also won.

Pasco coach Mark DeAugustino knew what his Pirates were up against.

“I knew Nature Coast would be tough, and I take nothing away from them, but we’ve been tested all year,” DeAugustino said. “This was closer than last week, but Fivay and the other teams from our county are great, so we’re ready every week.”

Nature Coast’s Mike Lastra took the heartbreaking loss in stride. So close to Nature Coast’s first district title, Lastra was beaming when talking about his grapplers.

“It’s hard to be too upset,” Lastra said. “To be honest, the tide really turned at the 132- and 145-pound semifinals. If those matches went the other way, we would probably be the champions right now.”

Lastra was referring to Joey Difranco (132) and Raevyn Alicea, who lost close semifinal matches to Pasco’s Tyler Bridenstine and Maleak Dawkins, respectively.

Steve Campbell

1A-10: Tampa Prep advances 7 wrestlers

TAMPA — Tampa Prep may have finished second to Bradenton Southeast — 174-130 — in the Class 1A-District 10 tournament, but the Terrapins qualified seven wrestlers for next week’s region, all of whom have the potential to place at the state meet.

The seven are Aaron Mills (106 pounds), Anthony Artalona (120), Donoven Hough (126), Landon Carter (132), Leo Taranito (138), Michael McCloskey (145) and Bryan Greenbaum (152) — all of whom finished third or higher Saturday.

“They have all worked so well together this year,” Tampa Prep coach Andy Bricker said. “I wouldn’t count any of them out of placing at state.”

One of the most frustrating matches of the day for Tampa Prep came at 126 when Hough, a two-time defending state champion, was disqualified after slamming down Berkeley Prep’s Anthony Rauft-Lomano. Hough, however, moves on to next week’s region as a runner-up.

Middleton’s Sergio Williams was the Tigers’ only individual winner, taking the 195 title.

Behind Southeast and Tampa Prep were Berkeley Prep (116), Clearwater Central Catholic (110) and Middleton (96).

Scott Purks

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