Region wrestling: Springstead finishes third

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Sat. February 8, 2014 | Derek J. LaRiviere

Springstead has dominated over the past four seasons with three state titles and a runnerup finish to go with four region titles. But this season, the Eagles welcomed perennial powerhouse Brandon back into its region.

The Class 2A, Region 2 meet at Brandon was nicknamed the “Region of Doom,” and for good reason. The presence of Brandon, Jesuit, Springstead and Lakeland Lake Gibson made it feel like a state meet one week early.

Brandon emerged with its 24th consecutive title and 35th overall, amassing 300 points to Jesuit’s 164.5 and Springstead’s 145.

Springstead took a hit early when 106-pounder Matt Landgraff, who has placed at state twice, failed to make weight and forfeited his matches. Its lone champ was Mike McDonald (120). At 40-0, the junior cruises to state after pinning Brandon’s Ty Lucas in the final.

Springstead’s most surprising state qualifier was Vincent Buonanno (160). For the second straight week, he took second at a major tournament. Saturday, he lost to Brandon’s Dakota Greene in the final to fall to 27-14.

Andrew Smith (126), Jordan Rivera (145) and Corey Humphrey (195) also fell in finals while Billy Swift (170) took third to advance. Springstead advanced seven to state in hopes of winning an individual title for the eighth consecutive season.

Wiregrass Ranch didn’t have the team success the Eagles did. But Jarred Lanier (113) reached the final before being pinned by Brandon’s Kyle Norstrem.

The lone Land O’Lakes representative will be Luis Casado (120), who placed fourth. After falling in his first match Friday, he won four straight.

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