Florida Wrestling- Week 8 in Review

We are having so much fun touring the Sunshine State that we'll keep doing it. It gives us a chance to find out what is happening from way up north in the panhandle to all the four corners plus all of the places in between.

And you can read all the details on the pages of Scout.com's Florida Wrestling Forum on SunStateFootball.com.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?S=376&F=1462

This week, we did a couple of early trips so that we could see some key head-to-head duals. We decided to do this because things got very intense down in Broward County . The Wrestling Forum was lit up with a controversy among fans of St Thomas Aquinas over the BCAA ( Broward County ) tourney on the previous weekend. The BCAAs were won by Cardinal Gibbons but there was some criticism over the distribution of byes. There was some much heat generated that we had the guy doing the announcing for the tourney come on here and give us his take. That was a pleasant surprise, we didn't even know he could use a computer.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3796490&p=2

Anyway, Gibbons and STA met at Fort Pettineo on Wednesday night and it was an exciting dual. There was intense wrestling from both squads and great coaching too. When the wrestling was finished they had to go to the rules book to go down the tie breaker criteria and the final result was that Gibbons won 35-34 based on criteria d, most tech falls Gibbons 2 STA 1.

On Thursday, there was an instant sounds of silence on the Wrestling Forum. It turned out Gibbons won fair and square and nobody could complain about anything.

While we were down in the southeast, we decided to ride back up the Atlantic Coast and check out the Palm Bay and Rockledge dual.

According to Brian McCallum, the Florida Today writer, the "Palm Bay Pirates ransack Rockledge" by the final score of 55-18. Coach Sean Ballard's Pirates improved their record to 26-3. Caylor Williams, the best in Florida in the 189-pound class, remained perfect at 36-0.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3820585

Then we continued north and visited the fine folks at Oviedo High who were hosting the "The War off of 434" with their neighbors from Winter Springs.

Prior to the start of the wrestling, in the time-honored Senior Night tradition at Oviedo high school, each senior wrestler and wrestlerette were given their chance to say their final words of thanks and reflection in written narratives as family and friends joined them matside.

The Lions ended up winning their 16th dual of the season by 45-25. You can read all about it in the Oviedo Report.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3813083

We almost forgot we had to go all the way up to Clay County to catch the annual Fleming Island vs Orange Park Ridgeview dual.

A special thanks to topkop for his always generous hospitality. Fleming Island won 34-30, Read the rest of the story here

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3814117

On the way back to Tampa Bay , while passing thru Polk County , we had to stop in to take in the dual between Lake Gibson and Lake Jenkins , opps, my mistake, George Jenkins. I thought every school in Polk County was a Lake -something. Anyway, there was no info in the local newspaper's web site, so we had to rely on our dependable Brave fan, aka wrestlinglo, to provide the info that Gibson won 56-17.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3822215

We had one more Senior Night to take in as we stopped off to say goodbye to Jacob Gregory, Danny Dykes and several other Canes as they won against Charlotte . It was the 100th victory in the four years of varsity wrestling for the Class of 2009.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3813645

Now it is time to start the circuit of the state. Again, we are starting out close to home by visiting Palm Harbor high school where the Annual Palm Harbor Duals tourney was finally moved to a Saturday after being held on a Friday for its first 5-6 years. Seems some local school officials didn't want to have to open the school up on a weekend to host a wrestling tourney. Anyway, I am sorry I didn't have time to partake in their very fine hospitality room. One of the best in the state.

For the second weekend in a row Dunedin came in second, this time the champion was Wakulla who traveled all the way down US 19 from Crawfordville to defeat Pinellas County 's top team 45-29.

Luis "Team Tall" Agramonte had a 5-pins-in-5- match performance at heavyweight for the Falcons. Countryside nipped the host Canes by two points to capture third. Kyle Grueninger (119) and Layton Ayres (130) matched Agramonte's record.

Team Champion Wakulla had five go 5-0, Mookie Forbes (103), Tyler Hill (119), Tre McCullough (125), Scotty Varner (135) and Garrett Barco (145).

Next, we didn't even have to leave the confines of Pinellas County as drove down US 19 and again passed the sign outside Bright House Field in Clearwater and growled as we read, "2008 World Champions." Damn those Phillies!

Anyway, we took a left on Haines Bayshore Road and went east to the igloo-shaped Gym at Clearwater Central Catholic High where the Stern brothers, Coach Scott and announcer Chris, were hosting the annual Marauder Duals playing host to teams from both coasts as top-ranked Riverdale (1A) came calling from way down south along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Ft Myers and Rockledge came over form the Atlantic Coast.

Coach Kris Hayward used a couple of different lineups but showed why his Red Raiders are the favorites to repeat as Class 1A champs. As they defeated Pinellas Park , Rockledge, shut out East Lake (69-zip) and then shut down the hosts 54-21 in what was the championship match.

It seems that a fan is taking exception to Rockledge not getting second place, so Coach Stern has generously offered to exchange his squad's second place trophy for their third.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828085

We decided to skip a side trip south across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge because nobody was home this weekend in Manatee County . Seems the real Canes and Bayshore were up in Brandon , Southeast was at Palm Harbor and Lakewood Ranch was at CCC. So I saved a dollar in tolls.

We jumped right on I-275, went north across Tampa Bay and took I-4 and stopped off at the Ippolito to say hello to Coach Russ Cozart whose Eagles were hosting the biggest tourney of the season in Tampa Bay. I decided since this event would go on for two full days, that I'd hit it again on the way back. That way I could hang out at Beefs after the event.

There was nothing going on in Lakeland City , so I decided to go all way up to Orlando and take in the annual Hutchins Memorial at Bishop Moore,

The biggest news there wasn't that Timber Creek (245 points) won the team title, finishing ahead of Osceola (230.5 points) as that was expected since the Kowboys were missing a few of their starters but there was a youngster just in sixth grade who won his 50th bout this season in sanctioned high school competition.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828662

Young Fox Baldwin competing for Kissimmee Christian went 4-0 for the day and upped his season record to an impressive 50-1. This kid just attained first year status as a Schoolboy only on January 1.

We posted up the complete press release from KCA for you all to read

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3832129

While we were in the Orlando area, we had to take in the Seminole Athletic Conference tourney at Hagerty High in Oviedo.

The result was no surprise as Oviedo won its 9th SAC title in a row. But there was a surprise champ at 130 as Ray Rowland, who started wrestling last year, won his first career championship.

He drew praise from Oviedo coach Rafael Valle.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3829491

Next we had to take a road trip almost all the way west out on the panhandle but we decided to take the scenic route along the Gulf Coast on US 98 for the Bay County Championships at Bozeman High near Panama City.

There, after a long day ending just before curfew at 9:00 pm CST, Arnold won the Duals with a 4-0 record, followed by Mosley (3-1) and then Rutherford (2-2)

A special thanks to DBSCoach for posting the complete results. Read it about it at

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3829592

The next day, there was an IBT at Arnold High in Panama City Beach where Coach G's Niceville squad won again over a field of panhandle teams. Coach G's full name is Morrie Geselter. Geselter is a snow bird who winters down in Florida from his home up in Illinois . He is one of the legends of the sport who began officiating in the international styles of wrestling back when they first started USA Wrestling as his original USWOA License number was something like #9. Just to give a perspective of how long Morrie has been around, each new official gets a higher number and the latest number is around 33,000. Geselter's key to longevity is smoking fine Cuban cigars. I made a good friend when I gave him a Cohiba Siglo VI last year.

Anyway, the best thing that happened at Arnold was the Panana City News Journal made my life easier and gave the sport a shot in the arm with their coverage of the tourney.

What a job Panama City News Herald - Complete coverage of a high school wrestling tourney - an article by a staff writer, complete team scores, full results of championship and 3rd/4th place finals and a photo spread of wrestling action.

Please everybody go to this link and commend them on a super job of covering high school wrestling in the panhandle http://www.varsitysportseast.c...pin_arnold.html

The biggest news at the tourney was that Coach Johnson of Wewa had his first title winners in the school's four years of history. Nick Malcolm won at 103 and Daniel House won at 125. Note, to self, House should be ranked at 125 and not at 119. OK got it to make sure that Chase Duckworth, who came in second gets ranked at 119.

Now we had to turn completely around and go east on I-10 several hundred miles all the way to Orange Park and watch Coach Chris McNealy's Duals at Ridgeview.

Now McNealy is younger by half than Geselter but he puts on a great event plus he shells out the extra $100 to post all of the dual meet results on trackwrestling.

The team champion in the duals was Camden County , Jawja, but Coach Michael Porcelli's team from Citrus High in Inverness drove all the way up to take second place ahead of host Ridgeview which was just ahead of Clay.

Apparently, they are still talking about the event if you want to join in go to

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3829191

There was a dual meet tourney at Terry Parker High in Jacksonville but all that we found out was that Bradford 's Casey Hines won his 100th career victory on Friday night. BCCatCoach also reported that Billy Brooks notched his 100th win earlier in the season.

You can post your, "atta boys," to Hines and Brooks at this web address

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3832818

So, now that we were all the way over to the Atlantic Coast , the only way to go was south to another of the year's annual Conference tourneys, the Five Star held in Palm Coast . A special thanks to granby30 for posting up the finals results and team scores that showed Deland winning the tourney for the first time in history.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3823613

Coming south, we had to bypass Sebring where they hosted the annual Spiegel. We had almost no news from the event except that we found out from the Naples News that Gulf Coast came in third. Finally, some readers from Space Coast stepped up to report that the Vipers, a sparkling 26-0 in duals this season, came in second behind Avon Park.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828250

Continuing south down the coast, the next stop was the annual Treasure Lake Conference tourney hosted by Coach Tom McMath at Jensen Beach.

The Falcons had their A team in action this weekend as their team score (232) was double that of second place, Fort Pierce Central (116).

Reading the tourney article is not for the weak at heart as it goes into detail to describe the result of Max Piasecki trying to work a knee-tap with his chin. Despite all the blood, Piasecki (171) was able to recover to win one of five individual titles. Other winners were Leo Serruto (103), Mikey Hess (112), Matt Schaeffer (189) and Craig Dyer (285).

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828586

Going a little further south, we stopped in at a couple of schools in Palm Beach County who were hosting Conference Duals.

Park Vista won the Central Conference Duals and Palm Beach Central won the Western Conference Duals at Seminole Ridge High School . The big news at the Western was that Wellington 's Zach Pincus won his 100th career victory.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828892

The next county south is Broward and we decided to pay a call on Coach Ron Schulz who was hosting the Nova Duals in Davie . Congrats to Ron as he coached his 300th team victory.

Miami Pace was the tourney champion but Coach Frank Peligri has only one goal, the Class 1A state team title. Read all about their goal in the Miami Herald article.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3831281

Rounding the third corner, we stopped to recharge our batteries with a café con leche on calle ocho down in Miami with the spiderguy to get the latest skinny on the fallout from last week's GMAC.

After downing that drink and smoking a terrific American-rolled Cuban cigar, it was westward ho across the Glades and over to the final corner at Golden Gate High in Naples right off of exit 101 from I-75.

Coach Ed Munn was great about posting up all the results of both days of competition in his annual Titan Duals.

Friday Night results

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3823698

Saturday Pool Results

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828062

Palmetto Ridge was the team champion as Coach Mark Rosenbalm's Bears won all six of their duals. So now, who is in second place in Class 2A behind Brandon?

A few weeks ago, Manatee lost up at Springstead to Lake Gibson and Springstead. Also, Springstead beat Lake Gibson in that same event. Next Springstead won the tough Flagler tourney last week. Also, Lake Gibson beat Palmetto Ridge in a dual a couple of weeks ago. Lake Gibson has used all of their passes this season to be able to compete outside of Polk County . And the third time was no charm for Springstead as they placed behind Manatee in the Ippolito but Manatee has not faced Palmetto Ridge and neither has Springstead.

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3837226

Finally, we drove 150 miles north and go off on route 60 and went a couple of miles east and found our way back to Brandon High on Victoria Street . There we took in the finals of the Tony Ippolito Memorial.

The tourney was another Eagle Fest as Coach Russ Cozart's Eagles won seven finals and took second in four others to win going away with 358.5 points. Coach Gug's Manatee Canes were second with 254 while Coach Eric Swensen's Eagles from Hernando County were a close third place with 238 points.

Finals results at Ippolito

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3827385

Day 1 at Ippolito

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3822929

Hurricanes finish in second place article by Phil Dennis

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3833684

Thoughts on Ippolito from Rhino Wrestling

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3830474

Third is not charming for Springstead article in St Pete Times

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3828862

Eric Grajales gets 200th Win article in Tampa Tribune

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=376&f=1462&t=3813645

After three weekends of all this traveling, I'm starting to get into my zone. Just four more weeks to go.

First I have to fly back to the Sunshine State.


Sun State Football Top Stories