DUNEDIN— There wasn’t much doubt going into Saturday’s Class 2A, District 8 wrestling tournament who would come away with the crown, as host Dunedin was expected to repeat.
But it wasn’t suppose to be easy, as the Falcons have battled numerous injuries throughout this season.
Still, the Falcons crowned five individual champions among the 10 wrestlers they sent to the finals, and Dunedin qualified 12 in all for the region meet as it easily outdistanced runnerup Sunlake 211-137.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class at district advance to the region meet.
“We’ve had a tough month and a half full of injuries,” Dunedin coach Marc Allison said. “I was really proud of the kids. We lost a couple of tough matches to some tough kids in the finals. It’s great we’re sending 12 into regionals, and it’s a great building block moving forward. They wrestled hard, and it’s good motivation for the kids going into a tough region next week.”
Kane Plate (135 pounds), Austin Prince (140), Kyle Goodnow (160), Mike Hogan (171) and RJ Luth (215) all claimed titles for Dunedin.
Sunlake qualified 11 wrestlers for region, Wiregrass Ranch finished third (124.5 points, nine region qualifiers) and River Ridge was fourth (114.5, nine).
One of the more surprising upsets came in the 112-pound bout between Sunlake’s John Ortiz and Dunedin’s Shaun Shakoor, ranked No. 4 in Class 2A according to Scout.com. Shakoor held a 7-6 lead late in the match, but Ortiz produced a takedown reversal with less than 20 seconds to go to grab an 8-7 victory.
“That win just boosted my morale greatly,” Ortiz said.
“I’ve seen him wrestle before, but I’ve never wrestled him before. My coach had no words, just excitement.”
Among others qualifying for region next week in Sebring with district titles in tow were: Wiregrass Ranch’s Dylan Koesling (130), Mitchell’s Derek Wertheim (145) and River Ridge’s Andrew Herr (189).
Team scores: Dunedin 211, Sunlake 137, Wiregrass Ranch 124.5, River Ridge 114.5, Mitchell 98, Tarpon Springs 72, Zephyrhills 24
Finals: 103: Jared Lanier (Wiregrass) over Alec Hersh (Dunedin) Decision 5-3; 112: John Ortiz (Sunlake) over Shaun Shakoor (Dunedin) Decision 8-7; 119: Wesley Wood (Sunlake) over Marc Allison (Dunedin) Fall 4:55; 125: David Hill (Wiregrass) over Justin Timberlake (Mitchell) Decision 8-4; 130: Dylan Koesling (Wiregrass) over Alex Lebhar (Dunedin) MajDecision 11-0; 135: Kane Plate (Dunedin) over Mason Bradford (Wiregrass) Decision 10-2; 140: Austin Prince (Dunedin) over Elliot Morales (Wiregrass) MajDecision 14-5; 145: Derek Wertheim (Mitchell) over Sean Hart (Sunlake) Decision 5-1; 152: Jarret Frisbie (Mitchell) over Chris Winowich (Dunedin) Fall 1:02; 160: Kyle Goodnow (Dunedin) over Travis Carr (Mitchell) Fall 0:52; 171: Mike Hogan (Dunedin) over Jon Corrin (River Ridge) Fall 2:29; 189: Andrew Herr (River Ridge) over Terrance Stewart (Zephyrhills) Decision 7-3; 215: RJ Luth (Dunedin) over Gavin Rogers (Tarpon Springs) Fall 0:59; 285: Colin Nagy (River Ridge) over Kameron Romaelie (Tarpon Springs) Fall 3:15
Consolations: 103: Eliseo Campos (Sunlake) over Justin Kaiser (Mitchell) Fall 2:10; 112: Kyle Koesling (Wiregrass) over Dakota Arends (River Ridge) Decision 6-2; 119: Kyle Arends (River Ridge) over Hunter Martin (Mitchell) Fall 1:30; 125: Jacob Pacori (River Ridge) over Austin Ladd (Dunedin) Decision 7-4; 130: Carter Novak (Sunlake) over Thomas Burke (River Ridge) Fall 3:59; 135: Ben Graubner (River Ridge) over Kevin Lopez (Sunlake) Decision 4-1; 140: Max Reynolds (River Ridge) over Agustin Garcia (Tarpon Springs) Decision 8-5; 145: Charlie Korba (Dunedin) over Patrick Hill (Wiregrass) Fall 1:27; 152: Michael Bennett (Tarpon Springs) over Christian Campo (Wiregrass) Decision 6-2; 160: Daniel Haddad (Sunlake) over Sam Ramirez (Wiregrass) Fall 2:54; 171: Ben Wood (Sunlake) over Matthew Moraca (Tarpon Springs) Decision 11-9; 189: Gerry Sizemore (Tarpon Springs) over Austin Lopez (Sunlake) Fall 1:46; 215: Josh Gabel (Mitchell) over Raymond Busbee (Sunlake) Fall 1:55; 285: Brandon Franklin (Sunlake) over Stephen Cottrell (Zephyrhills) Injury default