ALTAMONTE SPRINGS — Wiregrass Ranch is bringing home its first team championship trophy, but it took a little negotiating from coach Dave Wilson.
His Bulls tied Naples Barron Collier with 15 points each for the overall Class 3A team championship at Sanlando Park on Thursday. The Florida High School Athletic Association only brought one championship trophy. Originally, the trophy was going home with Barron Collier and another one would be mailed to Wiregrass Ranch.
At least until Wilson spoke up.
“They’ve got nine of them, we don’t have any,” Wilson said with a smile. “We’d like to take home a trophy for a change.”
The championship was a two-team race all day. Wiregrass Ranch took a lead early in the day thanks to three singles titles. Alejandro Feliciano won at No. 4 singles (6-2, 6-1), Pedro Fernandez del Valle won at No. 2 singles (6-2, 6-3) and Agustin Moreno won at No. 1 singles.
Moreno defeated Davey Roberts of Matanzas 6-7 (4-6), 6-1, 6-0. He faces John Carlin of Fort Myers this morning for the overall singles title.
“I started a little slow,” said Moreno, who is the first No. 1 singles champion in school history. “I kind of changed what I was doing. I came to the net more and got more aggressive. I think you could see that it was bothering him a little bit.”
Foresight Okungbowa played for the No. 3 singles title but lost 7-6 (6-4), 4-6, 6-3 to Paul Johnson of Barron Collier.
The tournament came down to doubles. Moreno and Fernandez del Valle were knocked out of No. 1 doubles in the semifinals by Barron Collier’s top team, which went on to win the title.
Feliciano and Okungbowa made the No. 2 doubles final against Barron Collier; a win would have clinched the title outright by a point. Instead, the Bulls duo lost 7-6 (6-2), 3-6, 10-5.
This was the Bulls’ third trip to state after tying for fifth last season. This is the Cougars’ sixth straight state championship and ninth overall.
“We’re getting better and better,” Wilson said. “And the good thing is there are no seniors.”
Not only will the Bulls be able to put the first trophy in the school’s case, but they will be the first to hang a banner.
“And it’s going to say ‘state champions,’ ” Wilson said. “There won’t be any ‘co’ on there.”
One other area player won a state title Thursday. Canterbury’s Evan Holvoet defeated Shaun Berman of Miami Country Day 7-5, 6-1 to win the Class A individual state championship. Holvoet will not play for the overall title today due to a sore back.