As the temperatures outside dips to their annual lows, the intensity inside rises as the wrestling season shifts into high gear.
Last week, the wrestling action in Florida was spread over all four corners of the state and a number of places in between.
And you can read all about it on the pages of Scout.com's Florida Wrestling Forum on SunStateFootball.com.
Starting up on the panhandle out in Panama City , Mosley won the Bay Invitational. They had five champs, led by their 125-pounder, Jeff Pitts, the tourney's Outstanding Wrestler.
Traveling all the way east on I-10 and cutting the diagonal on routes 100 and 16 to Green Cove Springs, the host Blue Devils of Clay High School edged their county rivals from Orange Park Riverview by just a mere four points.
It was more than fitting that the Outstanding Wrestlers were from the tourney's top two teams - Garrett Soileau, (130) from Clay of the Light Weights and Jonathan Dixon (285) from Ridgeview of the Heavy Weights.
You might want to put in your two cents on the discussion of the event which has grown to three pages.
To get to the next event, just get back on route 16, cross the St John's River and take a right and go south on I-95 and then after roaring by an empty NASCAR Speedway in Daytona, make sure you don't miss the turn to go west on I-4 and go about 30 miles and get off at Lake Mary to check out the action in the annual Ron Peters Tournament of Champions.
Since Oviedo, the four-time state Class 3A champs this decade was there, we were assured that we'd get the complete results from both days. Best of all, each time within an hour of the completion of the action on the mat, from our dependable writer of "The Oviedo Report," Col. Thomas Coffman, US Army Ret.
This week, the Lions added to their haul of tourney wins by running up 226 points to leave everybody else at least 75 points behind. The individual Champions for Oviedo included Joey Hefley, Stephon Jenkins, Lee Wildes, and Davin Morris.
You can check out the box scores at
or The Oviedo Report, January 11 edition at
Getting to the next event at Osceola High in Kissimmee was easy enough, especially if you had a Sun Pass and could afford to take the "Less Stressway" marked as route 417. Just get off at exit 17/92 and after crossing US 192, look for the sign on the right pointing to the High School.
This week's event was the AJ Jones Memorial Duals Tournament. Special thanks to CoachKW for typing up all the duals results which appear on the topic. He also made his "world premier" webcast debut as a commentator in the semifinals!
CoachKW is now the Athletic Director at G. Holmes Braddock High School in Miami but I heard him mention that he served as assistant coach for South Dade for four years when the Bucs were second in the state. But the year after he left, they won the state title.
Anyway, the chief obstacle to back-to-back titles will be the Kowboys whose fans always bring their Kowbells to the gym to support their wrestlers who tuned up the field to win the team title going away.
From Kissimmee , we had to take a side trip across the Kissimmee River over to Port St John on the beach that is home to Space Coast High. After dipping our toes in Atlantic Ocean we watched the Vipers remain perfect on the season by winning all seven of their duals to stretch their current streak to 20 in a row.
Next, we had to wind our way nearly completely across the state, there was a rumor about a tourney being held in Plant City , but since not a word of what went on found its way to this site, perhaps nothing really took place.
So on we went up into the hills where we played a round of golf with CaptGM at a cow pasture called the Spring Hill Golf Club. After we finished those 18 holes, we drove across town to the annual invite at Springstead High where host AD Bob Levija invited us in to partake in one of the terrific "five forks" hospitality room feasts where the spread put out by the families of the Spring Hill Wrestling Club leaves no taste unsatisfied.
Speaking of not being satisfied, last week, the Eagles won dual meets against Lake Gibson , Manatee and Durant. Normally, that would satisfy any coach but not Coach Eric Swensen especially when too many of his wrestlers spent the nights counting ceiling tiles and lost by a couple of points to Miami Columbus thus spoiling his plans for an undefeated dual meet season.
Well, during practice all last week, Swensen made his squad listen to Mick Jagger sing "I can't get No, Satisfaction," a couple hundred times.
The team got the message. Nine wrestlers made the finals and seven won championships as Springstead stomped on the field of 21 teams running up 255.5 points, more than 100 than Tampa Jesuit who too second place.
After leaving Spring Hill, we did a bit of "Rambling Man" and rolled down route 41 and wound our way across the peninsula city known as Pinellas County , where no lot is left vacant.
And golly be, darned if they didn't decide to hold the Annual PCAC Championships in a school named after the same Osceola as the folks in the Orlando area.
The results of that event left nobody surprised as Coach Marc Allison finally got Dunedin their first PCAC title in school history. Led by Justin "Farm Boy" Zeedyk, John "hat hair" Cannizzaro and two other champs, the Falcons left no doubt about this being their Championship season.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the local paper decided to send a correspondent to cover the event. You might even find the article's 381 words copied somewhere on the site.
It is a good thing, because if you had to wait for the state's largest paper to provide all of your wrestling news, you would definitely be a soul wandering in the desert looking for an oasis.
You'll have no problem quenching your thirst for wrestling news here.
Hey, we had the complete team results, all of the bout results from the Championship, 3rd/4th and 5th/6th place finals all keyed in and posted before 10:30 PM on Saturday night. Thank you Lynn Long for sending us the brackets.
Read all about it here.
Next we had to check out those SOBs in Manatee County . Get your mind out of the gutter, SOB = "South of the Bridge" meaning we had to pay a $1 toll to drive over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge . I hope you understand that I had to continue rolling down highway 41 some more until we got to the Sugar Shack and were able to watch COACHGUG's Canes get back on track and win another Coach Mike Kelly Challenge.
If you want to read the full report, check out what COACHGUG has posted
Meanwhile, a short distance across town, there was another Duals tourney being held at Southeast High. Venice swept all five of their opponents to capture the team title.
You can read the names of the wrestlers who were the individual champions on a topic posted by seminole53, one of Coach Bob Thomas fine assistant coaches. And thank you again, ten years in a row for me at this event, for the fine hospitality room.
It is getting late, so got back on the nearest interstate which was I-75 and then put it in cruise control as we headed south to corner number three in our four corners and panhandle coverage.
First stop was Barron Collier High where the Naples Mazda was being held. We watched as Ben Carter, a state champ back in 2006, showed how he appears to be rounding back in top form as he ended freshman's Geordan Speiller's brief tenure as the Top Wrestler in Class 2A's 152-pound class.
Again, the complete results were posted by one of our most valuable posters, EddieMascone. I mean you've got to know that a guy with a name like Mascone is from Jersey.
That's OK if you don't. Anyway, we didn't have to go too far to find more top wrestling action. We just swung around the Gate, then stop and started our way on some road with too many traffic lights for ten miles east into the former swamp land and lo and behold not only did we come upon the Diesel Duals at Palmetto Ridge High but we found that wrestling and the Lake Gibson boys had escaped from the confines of Polk County for the third week in a row.
Now only were the Braves on hand, but Victor "eight rings" Balmeceda, was there. Yo, Victor, first time I'd had the chance to honor Coach B with an updated nickname, congrats to the 2008 Bucs.
According to the report filed by the Naples News, Coach Mark Rosenbalm says his team had some problem with "cobwebs." Don't believe that stuff, he is just laying low until February.
It was amazing that the Bears were only third in their own tourney especially when our rankings voters have them third in Class 2A.
Check out our weekly Top Team Rankings that will be released every Wednesday during the regular season. Here are the Week 5 Rankings
Finally, we completed our circuit around the Sunshine State .
For some reason, there was zero news from the final corner, the Southeast.
It seems the bridges were down and Cardinal Gibbons escaped to Naples . Everybody knows there isn't any wrestling news in Palm Beach or Broward counties when they are out of town.
Opps, sorry there was a tourney in Miami at Dade Christian. Hello, is anybody home? How about some fans posting up some results from last weekend's tourney there?
Never mind, we wrote our own story and you can read about Tampa Bay Christian's efforts in the Dade Christian tourney in Miami/
Finally, fans got to read bout-by-bout results of Brandon 's performance in the Cheesehead tourney in Wisconsin right here.
Fans of Russ Cozart's top ranked Eagles didn't have to fly 1,000 miles and brave the chilly zero degree temperatures of Kaukauna , Wisconsin . No siree BobB1974, they could sit out on their deck and enjoy treading the results posted every five minutes by one of our favorite posters BrandonNOVA.
Shoot, just when I thought I was done and was ready to go back home, I remembered the Port St Lucie Duals. So I got on I-95 and started driving north and got there just in time to see Ft Pierce Central win the event.
It was getting late, so right away, I jumped on the Florida Turnpike and got off at the exit for Yeehaw Junction. Folks around the country who are reading this are probably figuring I am making that place up but really, check out the map and you will see a small place name in the middle of nowhere where the Turnpike, US 441 and state route 60 intersect.
There is even a famous tavern there but I haven't wanted a drink badly enough to stop and check it out. But I have bought some gas many times from one of the three gas stations just down the road a piece right after the tooth booths.
Anyway, so I drove the lonely state route 60 across the state for about 75 miles and stumbled onto one more tourney when I reached civilization on the east side of the Kissimmee River back in Lake Wales.
Yup, Avon Park won the Highlander Duals. And there was a reporter from a New York Times Company paper there too. NY Times – c'mon Lake Wales, yeah really.
Read the article and find out who the undefeated wrestler is from Avon Park that turned the tide to win the tourney for the Highlanders.
Now, you really need to ask yourself, how the heck did Ocala Vanguard get themselves into this tourney?
See if you can make the connection.