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Co-Wrestlers of the Year
Rossi Bruno, Sr., Brandon (61-0)
Why we picked him: With only three losses in his high school career, Bruno has been arguably the most dominant wrestler to grace a mat in this state. His pin in one minute, 41 seconds over South Dade’s Justin Ramirez in the Class 3A 126-pound final made obvious just how head and shoulders above the field he was.
Most impressive accomplishment: It may have been only 30 minutes before his friend and teammate Clark Glass accomplished the feat as well, but Bruno was the first five-time state title winner in state history. After winning his fourth crown last season, he went undefeated with almost no challenge in 2012.
Did you know? Bruno was ranked second in the nation at 126 pounds according to the Amateur Wrestling News poll, the foremost authority on prep wrestling in the country. Only Jimmy Gulibon, a senior from Derry, Pa., was ahead of him. Glass was ranked fifth at 160. … Next up for Bruno is a college career at Michigan, where former teammate Eric Grajales wrestles.
Clark Glass, Sr., Brandon (60-1)
Why we picked him: In the 160-pound state final, Glass looked like a cat playing with a mouse when he picked on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Gio Jeovenetta. He got a technical fall with a 21-0 victory to pick up his elite fifth state crown. Now that his prep career is done, he’ll move on to the University of Oklahoma.
Most impressive accomplishment: While Glass shares his record of five titles with Bruno, Glass does have a leg up on Bruno in one sense — his victory total. Since Glass began at Tampa Baptist in seventh grade, he has amassed 323 Florida High School Athletic Association-sanctioned victories, one short of Kissimmee Osceola’s Pete Baldwin’s national record for wins. Bruno finished with 288.
Did you know? For the second straight season, Bruno and Glass share the Times’ Wrestler of the Year award. If you take into account that with their five individual titles the Brandon stars have been a part of four team crowns, the duo has an unimaginable nine gold medals.
106: Dylan Lucas, Fr., Brandon, 34-0. Lucas had no problems moving from the Class A competition at Tampa Christian last season to capture his second state title.
113: James Flint, So., Brandon, 61-2. By capturing his third title, Flint and a few of his Eagle teammates are on pace to match Glass and Bruno.
120: Darrien Kelly, Jr., Durant, 39-12. Didn’t let an opening-round loss in Lakeland derail his confidence, ultimately placing fourth, one spot ahead of Brandon standout Devan Berrian.
126: Damen Patisaul, Sr., Strawberry Crest, 46-11. One season after placing sixth, Patisaul went 1-2 at the Lakeland Center in arguably one of the state’s toughest brackets.
132: Kevin Norstrem, Jr., Brandon, 62-0. In any other season, his fourth state title would have landed him in the spotlight.
138: Tyler Liberatore, Sr., Wharton, 52-2. Arizona State commit and two-time state champ did not advance to state because of a shoulder injury at regionals (which accounts for his two losses).
145: Nick Caverly, Sr., Robinson, 45-12. This first-time state qualifier was the only 145-pounder in Hillsborough County to qualify for state.
152: Travis Berridge, Jr., Brandon, 57-5. Went into Lakeland as the favorite, but settled for fourth place.
160: Chris Saintilien, Sr., Freedom, 27-9. When the pressure was on, he stepped up with three wins over some of the state’s best to finish fifth.
170: Jacob Haydock, Jr., Brandon, 55-4. After winning a state title in Oklahoma, this key addition to the Eagles added another crown.
182: Kyle Koziel, Sr., Brandon, 52-4. With his second straight state title and fourth straight trip to the state finals, Koziel cemented his place in Brandon history.
195: Demetrius Hill, Jr., Hillsborough, 44-8. Fell in the first round at state but followed that up with three straight wins in his breakthrough season.
220: Ben Richards, Sr., Hillsborough, 21-3. Came as close as any Terriers wrestler to a title, losing a 6-4 decision to Cypress Lake’s Charles Kerkesner in the Class 2A championship bout.
285: Richard Woods, Jr., Durant, 18-7. Won a county title in late January and qualified for state before going 0-2 in Lakeland.
106: Donoven Hough, Fr., Armwood, 49-3
113: Wyatt Roop, Jr., Jesuit, 47-7
120: Devan Berrian, So., Brandon, 33-8
126: David Nguyen, Sr., Robinson, 37-12
132: Eric Franklin, Sr., Spoto, 42-7
138: Troy Joyce, Fr., Brandon, 46-13
145: Dakota Greene, Fr., Brandon, 44-8
152: Nissan Anderson, Jr., East Bay, 29-10
160: Tylor Dutrieaux, Sr., Armwood, 44-8
170: Cody Chaney, Sr., Plant City, 47-6
182: Travis Macon, Sr., Armwood, 40-11
195: Robert Enmon, Fr., Brandon, 42-17
220: Hunter Douglas, Sr., Bloomingdale, 45-9
285: Javon Woods, Sr., Robinson, 22-11
Berkeley Prep: Eric Massey (152), Christian Hardegree (182); Bloomingdale: James Wiehle (195); Chamberlain: Anthony Mortellaro (138); Durant: Caleb Smith (126), Chase Haley (132), Keith Watford (195); East Bay: Morquez Forest (170); Hillsborough: Jacob West (113); Jesuit: Christian Dominguez (132); King: Jacob Wasserman (106); Lennard: Darrian Mills (120); Plant City: William Joyce (120); Robinson: Jeremy Andujar (113), Jonathan Smith (132), Damien McKinzie (138), Luis Peguero (170), Alex Reay (195), Kendonte Nichols (220); Spoto: Norman Gallon (126); Strawberry Crest: Gage Munoz (152); Tampa Bay Christian: Kyle Norstrem (106), Tommy Fretwell (126), Joe Marcano (182); Tampa Prep: Leonardo Tarantino (106), Miller Judge (152), Nick Mosco (170)
Coach of the Year
Russ Cozart, Brandon
At some point, we should just rename this the Russ Cozart Times’ Coach of the Year Award. In leading the Eagles to their 12th consecutive state title and 23rd overall, the Hall of Famer coached seven individual champions and four nationally ranked grapplers, tying the 2005 championship team that included David Craig, Rocky Cozart, Franklin Gomez and Cesar Grajales.