Over the years, the Springstead Invitational Tournament has been a springboard into the post-holiday wrestling season. It also usually offers a glimpse of what’s to come in the postseason.
Although the tournament was dominated by Flagler Palm Coast and host Spring Hill Springstead, there were some strong individual showings by Pasco County wrestlers, including three individual champions and 10 total placers.
Wesley Chapel’s Jon Galvan continued his perfect season by winning the 126-pound weight class and was hardly challenged in the stacked tournament. Galvan secured first place with a second-period pin of Flagler’s Evan Insalaco. Other Pasco County champions were Wiregrass Ranch’s Max Quinones, who defeated Flagler’s Kaz Maia 3-2, and Fivay’s Nicco Lightfoot became a two-time Springstead Invite champion with a third-period pin of River Ridge’s Max Reynolds.
Fivay and Wesley Chapel were the best county teams with fifth- and sixth-place finishes. In addition to Galvan’s win, the Wildcats’ 182-pound Nathan Love continued with his emergence on the scene with a third-place finish.
Additionally for the Falcons, Cole Manion took fourth place at 120 pounds, but Andrew Scherer was upended in the 160-pound final by Edgewater’s Jordan Mainer 6-4. It was Scherer’s first loss of the season, and Fivay coach Matt Bullwinkel thinks Scherer will rebound.
“We kind of got away from our game plan,” Bullwinkel said. “(Mainer) was a good wrestler. He got the takedowns and kind of rode them out. Andrew will be fine.”
Two wrestlers making names for themselves are Pasco’s bookends: 106-pound sophomore Lukas Twardosky and 285-pound senior Andrew Ivie.
Twardosky, only a second-year wrestler, has a 24-2 record and burst onto the scene with a pin over state-ranked Stephen Nicholls of Dunedin at the Gulf Holiday Duals. According to coach Mark DeAugustino, it was the work Twardosky put in during the offseason that’s paying dividends.
“He’s only wrestled since he was a freshman, but Lukas wrestled all summer,” DeAugustino said. “His parents are really involved with his wrestling and with their help he put in the work.” Ivie, who holds a football scholarship offer from USF, is 25-1.
“Andrew is not just a big strong kid,” he said. “He’s very solid in all three phases of wrestling. Whether he’s on his feet, top position, or bottom, Andrew really doesn’t have a weakness.”
Pasco is hosting the Dr. Dan McBath tournament this weekend. It’s an eight-team dual featuring Lake Wales, Belleview, Tarpon Springs, Lake Gibson, Gulf, Mitchell, and The Villages. There will be five rounds of wrestling and starts at 10:30 a.m.
Correspondent Steve Campbell can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @SCPascoTrib.