DUNEDIN — Dunedin’s depth proved to be just enough to hold off Indian Rocks Christian for the Class A, District 11 wrestling tournament championship Saturday.
The host Falcons won their fourth district title in five years 170.5 to 156. Though Indian Rocks Christian qualified nine wrestlers for the region meet and crowned five individual champions, Dunedin qualified 12 for region and had four champions.
Both Dunedin and IRC advanced eight wrestlers to the finals, where they had six head-to-head matches. IRC won four of them but could not outpoint Dunedin.
Dunedin took the first head-to-head at 106 when Stephen Nichols beat Daimon Shepherd 8-0. But then came a string of IRC wins, Jack Pohler (120), Jared Wolfenbarger (126), Jay Dugmore (132) and eight-grader Erich Byelick (145), who notched his 100th victory.
The Falcons won the final head-to-head: senior Anthony Dampier at 170.
“It felt good (winning the 170 final), but I still have along way to go, a lot of improvement to make before states,” Dampier said after the match.
Gibbs was sixth with 46 points, sending five of their seven to region; Admirial Farragut was seventh (45) with four qualifiers and a champ; and Northside Christian was eighth (35), qualifying four with one champion.
A-10: Tampa Prep falls short vs. Southeast
TAMPA — No. 12-ranked Bradenton Southeast topped runnerup and host Tampa Prep 174 to 130 for the Class A, District 10 team title.
The Terrapins brought eight wrestlers and qualified seven, taking four individual district titles.
Berkeley Prep finished third with 116 points, advancing nine. Clearwater Central Catholic was fourth, moving 12 wrestlers through with 110 points and one champion, Taylor Romera at 182.
Middleton was fifth, moving seven wrestlers through to region with one champion.
“The parents and staff ran the best tournament I’ve ever seen, I’d like to give a shout-out to them,” Terrapins coach Andy Bricker said.
The host Terrapins got a huge boost from eighth-graders Anthony Artalona (120) and Leo Tarantino (138), who won their weight classes. Michael McCloskey (145) and Bryan Greenbaum (152) both claimed titles, McCloskey just back from an injury and Greenbaum claiming his second straight district title.
“If these kids go out there and have their best tournament, they are going to be state placers not just making it to the state finals,” Bricker said.
The hottest matchup was at 106 between Tampa Prep’s fifth-ranked Aaron Mills and Tampa Bay HEAT’s Cullen Tefler. Tefler won a close 5-3 decision.