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Brandon (13-for-13) dominates county

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 08:46 PM
TAMPA -

The Brandon wrestling team achieved perfection at the 2010 Hillsborough County Championships.

The Eagles had 13 wrestlers compete and each claimed an individual title to help Brandon, which finished with 418.5 points, run away from the competition during the two-day event at Wharton. Durant was second with 288 points.

"I'm surprised we did what we did, but then again I expect it out of the guys," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "And I know they expect it out of themselves. It is quite an achievement, and they're proud of what they've done."

Not only did Brandon (which was without 112-pounder Terry Dawson because of injury) run the table, but the Eagles also punctuated the performance in convincing fashion during Saturday night's championship finals.

Six wrestlers - Victor Fugate (103), Tyler Liberatore (130), Clark Glass (145), Wally Figaro (160), Mike Ettore (189) and Zack Baldwin (215) - won by pin. Six others - Rossi Bruno (119), Kevin Norstrem (125), Travis Berridge (140), Joe Cozart (152), Kyle Koziel (171) and Henry Chirino (285) - won by six or more points. Ty Jones (135) won in the Eagles' closest match, earning a 4-3 decision vs. Wharton's Basim Saed.

"This is definitely a confidence builder," Koziel said. "We've got a lot of good guys on the team, and everyone works together helping each other out to help us stay on top."

Durant was the only other team to produce a champion, getting a win from Chase Haley at 112. The Cougars had 11 wrestlers place in the top six and five reach their respective championship match. Alex Hamm (125), Jordan Wellman (140), Titus Horner (171) and Dillon Packard (189) were runners-up.

"We were able to get one of them. I'm going to be able to sleep real well tonight because we wrestled as good as we could have," said Cougars coach Dennis Kitko, adding this was the best tournament his team has ever put together. "We might have been able to wrestle a little better in a couple of the finals, but it wouldn't have mattered tonight. They (Brandon) were just on fire."

Wharton, which also got a runner-up finish from Blake Nold (285), finished third. Plant City, paced by runners-up William Joyce (103) and Will Smith (145), was fourth, and Newsome, led by runner-up Chandler Dobler (152), rounded out the top five.

Sixth-place Alonso had three runners-up in Lucas Fitzer (112), Tony Milanes (119) and Mike Schepman (130). Sickles' Skyler Woods (160) and Jefferson's Lonnie Robinson (215) finished second.

Gulf runs away with SAC again

NEW PORT RICHEY - For the past decade, the Gulf wrestling team has dominated the Sunshine Athletic Conference. Saturday, that control was on display as the Buccaneers collected their seventh SAC team title in 10 years.

The Buccaneers, who walked away with seven individual champions, collected 277.5 points, followed by Wiregrass Ranch (194.5), Sunlake (185) and Mitchell (173.5).

"I think they wrestled well in the finals," Gulf coach Travis DeWalt said. "They looked aggressive, their conditioning looked good. We have a lot of work to do. We have high expectations in the state series. I'm OK with where we're at."

That tally of nine wrestlers in the finals for Gulf fell one shy of matching last season's school record of 10.

There were several wrestlers from across Pasco County who won titles for the second consecutive season, but Gulf senior Jarod Carpenter was the lone three-time SAC champ.

On the flip side, Zephyrhills' Nick Hynes, a state placer, collected his first SAC title despite placing fourth or better the previous three years.

Eddie Daniels

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