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PALM HARBOR — The team outcome from the Class 3A, District 7 wrestling meet was a foregone conclusion. Host Palm Harbor University won its fifth straight district title Friday, and it was never in doubt.
The Hurricanes placed wrestlers in 12 of the 14 finals; eight were crowned district champions. The Hurricanes led the whole meet and finished with 276 points to Alonso’s 119.5. Steinbrenner (110.5), East Lake (94) and Countryside (93) followed.
The marquee matchup of the night started off the finals at 106 pounds, a rematch of No. 4-ranked Tim Sakow of Palm Harbor University and No. 5-ranked Matt Collara of Countryside. The first period was deadlocked at 0-0. The two spent the entire second period on the mat in a lockup where neither could take the advantage.
The third period was more stalemate until Sakow forced it into a cradle and scored to go up 2-1. As Sakow was trying to roll Collara to his back, Collara countered and with 10 seconds remaining scored the winning takedown.
“I was just thinking how I had to score, it was my last chance, last districts, everything,” Collara said. “I was scared for a moment and then I saw an opening and went for it.”
Collara avenged an earlier 2-1 loss to Sakow and will head to regionals and finish his senior year as district champion.
Both Prince brothers, Connor (126) and Jared (120) repeated as district champions. Connor recorded a first-period pin on East Lake’s Patrick Brown and Jared earned a 19-4 major decision against Ryan Schoel of Steinbrenner. Jared had the circus move of the night when in the second round he snatched Schoel by the foot, caught him by surprise, and scored a huge takedown.
“I got hit with that same move when I lost in the last super 32 tournament,” Jared said. “It was right before the match started in a similar situation. I was as surprised by it (as Schoel was).”
Stopping a string of Hurricane finals victories was Steinbrenner’s Shir Shraga, who battled though PHU’s Jake Timpanaro to take a 3-1 victory in the 170-pound weight class. Shraga avenged an early-season 3-1 loss to Timpanaro.
“I had to beat that kid,” Shraga said. “I knew I had to keep putting a lot of pressure on him and go hard on top.”
Shraga won the first district title for the Warriors in two years.
2A-10: Rebels pick up another crown
Dixie Hollins won its fifth district title in six seasons, beating Largo.
The Rebels, who had the title wrapped up during the consolation bouts, qualified all 14 wrestlers for next week’s region meet and had 12 advance to the finals, seven of whom were champions.
The upper weights were particularly dominant for Dixie Hollins, which won five of the final seven bouts. The winners included David Labbe (152), Luis Aldana (170) and Andre Matthews (285), all ranked in the state in their weight class by scout.com. Mengel and Matthews won their second straight district titles.
The Packers broke up Dixie Hollins’ run of champions with Derrick Doss (182) and Danny Bergstrom (191) winning. Doss, ranked third, was the MVP of last week’s conference meet.
Staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report.