LAKELAND — With a 24th team title and 13th consecutive championship all but clinched for Brandon, the focus has turned to individual accolades for the dominant Eagles.
A tournament-high nine wrestlers clinched semifinal berths in Class 3A for Brandon (102 points), led by Kevin Norstrem (138 pounds).
Norstrem is looking to tie the state record of five individual titles in a career, a record set last season by former teammates Rossi Bruno and Clark Glass. The senior is 59-1 this season and is the odds-on favorite to capture the elite fifth crown.
Brandon junior James Flint (120) may also be in store for the five-title club if he continues his dominance. With three titles to his credit, Flint is cruising through the field at the Lakeland Center.
Among the remaining Eagles to advance were Geoffrey Doback (106), Kyle Norstrem (113), Dylan Lucas (126), Victor Fugate (132), Dakota Greene (152), Jacob Haydock (160), Travis Berridge (170) and Dontae McGee (182).
In Class 2A, Jesuit led the pack with three semifinal qualifiers. The Tigers’ Adam Lewis (126), Max Gallagly (170) and Austin Underwood (220) have combined for three losses this year and carried over their regular-season success so far at the Lakeland Center.
Armwood’s Donoven Hough (113) and King’s Jacob Wasserman (120) met last season in the championship match at 106 pounds with Hough coming out on top in a 2-1 decision. Both wrestlers are on their way to today’s semifinals.
Other Hillsborough grapplers had a strong showing Friday in Class A. While Robinson (23 points) and Tampa Bay Christian (19) reside outside of contention in the team standings, there is a plethora of locals who went undefeated.
Anthony Artalona (113) and Ty Lucas (120) will represent the Rams, while Robinson’s Luis Peguero (170) and Tampa Prep’s Nick Mosca (170) are also still alive heading into today.
Pairings for Day 2 of the state wrestling tournament can be found at fhsaa.org/sports/wrestling. Click “Brackets.”