A-2 wrestling: Gulf settles for second best

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Sun. February 13, 2011 | Derek J. LaRiviere

LAKELAND — A region runnerup trophy is nothing to be ashamed of, but Gulf coach Travis DeWalt still has a bad taste in his mouth after Saturday’s Class A, Region 2 tournament.

The Buccaneers (144 points) were unsuccessful in defending their region title from a season ago, coming in second to Lake Highland Prep (185.5).

Gulf, which also won the Class A state title last year, still advanced six to the state tournament at the Lakeland Center next weekend, including three region champions.

Anthony Ayers (130 pounds), R.J. O’Connor (160) and Ladarious Jackson (171) won their finals, while Anthony Agazarm (103), Austin Hayes (152) and Jeff Kruse (285) each lost consolation bouts and placed fourth.

“We were all kind of flat with the exception of Ayers,” DeWalt said. “It is something that will have to be addressed before next week. We have a quite a few mental things that need to be adjusted.”

Pasco’s J.P. Gamez (112) also won an individual crown with his 7-2 championship final decision over Nature Coast’s Tyler Forand. Wesley Chapel’s Nick Popolillo (152) also advanced to the state finals with his title over Lake Highland Prep’s Bryan Pacheco, 9-7.

Hernando’s Jared Young (140) and Zach Pritz (171), Fivay’s Mike Hahn (215), and Nature Coast’s Carter Bolesta (135) also made state  with consolation performances.

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