CLEARWATER — The Palm Harbor University wrestling team was dominant in claiming its third straight Pinellas County Athletic Conference title on Saturday, outpointing runnerup Dixie Hollins 345.5-181.
The Hurricanes sent 12 wrestlers to the finals, with 10 winning titles. Only Seminole’s Anthony Parisi (138 pounds), Boca Ciega’s Clifton Thomas (195), and Dixie Hollins wrestlers Artez Small (182) and Andre Matthews (285) interrupted the Hurricanes’ march to the top of the podium.
PHU 145-pounder Aaron Hartman became just the second wrestler to win four PCAC titles. Hartman defeated Boca Ciega’s Jacob Mohr with a second period pin to join former Countryside star Jared Frayer (1994-97) as the only ones to accomplish the feat.
The Hurricanes’ Jake Timpanaro, ranked seventh in the state, topped the 170-pound class by defeating East Lake’s Dylan Renaker 6-5 in the semifinals and edging eighth-ranked Anthony Dampier of Dunedin 4-3 in the final.
“People were saying it was going to be Renaker and Dampier in the final, and Jake (Timpanaro) beat them both,” PHU coach Brad Sakevich said. “We always knew he could do it; today he believed it a little bit.”
The highlight of the weekend was the 138-pound final between PHU’s Anthony Agazarm and Seminole’s Parisi. They had squared off in that finals at East Lake and the Jerry Mita Invitational, each claiming a 6-5 overtime thriller. And Saturday’s Agazarm-Parisi III did not disappoint. During an even first period, Parisi decided to yield a point to Agazarm, who chose the down position to start the second period. Agazarm held the 1-0 lead into the third period but Parisi scored an escape with 10 seconds left in the match to send it to overtime.
In the overtime, Parisi shot out of the down position and spun around Agazarm’s back and scored the winning takedown for a 3-1 victory and most outstanding wrestler honors.
Parisi’s teammate, Luis Rivera, reached the 126-pound semifinal, where he beat 12th-ranked Brendan Ditro of Dunedin. But Rivera ran into nationally ranked Jared Prince of PHU, who won 13-1.
“I knew I was just not going to give up, not going to get on my back,” Rivera said. “He (Prince) is one of the best in the nation.”
Dixie Hollins was in a tight race for second place in the team competition with East Lake (151.5 points), but finals victories by Small and Matthews sealed that spot.
The Rebels’ Small crushed PHU’s Steven Borrelli 14-0, and Matthews, 24-0 on the season so far, pinned all four of his opponents.
Bogie’s Thomas took the 195-pound title by clipping Pinellas Park’s Chance Leccese 4-2 in the final and beating 10th-ranked Tyler Orgera of PHU in the semifinals.
“He (Thomas) is good anywhere; when he’s on his feet he can get a takedown, when he’s down he can get up, and he can ride and control on top,” Pirates coach Tobey Alvarez said. “He’s an all-around wrestler now, and he’s still got a lot of growth. He can only go up from here.”
Bidwell Invitational: Indian Rocks Christian took second behind Venice at the Ryan Bidwell Invitational hosted by Lemon Bay. The Golden Eagles boasted individual champions in Daimon Shepherd (106) and Jay Dugmore (132). Jack Pohler (120), Erich Byelick (145), Selbourne Steward (170) and Jay Dempsey (285) claimed runnerup spots. Jared Wolfenbarger (126) and Michael Gingras (138) won their consolation finals matches.
“I think I’m the proudest coach in Florida right now,” coach Jay Dugmore said.
Admiral Farragut heavyweight Devin Griffin won the 285-pound class.