One season after winning the program’s first state title, Springstead looks primed for another solid run in Lakeland.
The Eagles (263.5 points) ran away with the Class 2A, Region 2 title Saturday at St. Cloud by almost 100 points over runnerup Lake Gibson thanks to 12 state qualifiers and four individual champs.
Despite the victory, one of the most surprising results came in the form of a disappointment. Cody Ross (152 pounds), Springstead’s two-time state champion and all-time wins leader, fell in the semifinals, losing any chance for another region crown. He still qualified for state with a chance to defend his title at the Lakeland Center.
John Dreggors (285) was the lone repeat region champion for the Eagles. For the second time in two seasons, Dreggors won a decision over Lake Gibson’s Devontae Terrell in the finals. Jordan Rivera (126), Sean Redman (145) and Thomas Gupton (195) were all first-time winners.
Springstead’s championship marked the first time the team had won consecutive region titles since 1998, when the Eagles wrapped up a four-year run of region crowns.
One week after coming in a disappointing third at districts, Nature Coast (145 points) took third Saturday, ahead of the team it placed behind last week, Citrus.
The Sharks advanced five to state, including region champions Sean Nguyen (103) and Mitch Lambert (160). The lightweight pinned a familiar foe in Springstead’s Matt Landgraff for the title and hopes to use that momentum going into state. Lambert won a tough 6-3 decision over Citrus’s Nick McLean.
Sunlake also advanced two, including All-American John Ortiz (120), who fell in the finals to Dunedin’s Clarence Arrington, 10-7. Wesley Wood (113) also qualified for the Seahawks after finishing fourth. River Ridge’s Dakota Arends (106) advanced after winning his consolation final 3-1 over Citrus’s Chris Mosher.