NEW TAMPA — After Brandon’s 42nd straight Hillsborough County Championship title Saturday, and after the obligatory team photo session, coach Russ Cozart brought his wrestlers together for something he rarely does.
“No wrestling on Monday,” he shouted, receiving whoops and hollers in return from his team.
Monday, however, does not exactly qualify as a full day off, as he informed them that running and weightlifting would still be required.
“I get the feel of a team,” Cozart said. “We’ve been going pretty hard for about a month, so I’m going to cut Monday a little short. They’re in shape; they’re ready.”
That would be he believes his team is ready for the “state run that (former Times writer and state Wrestling Hall of Famer) Terry Jones used to call it,” Cozart said.
Backed by 10 victories in 14 weight classes, Brandon tallied 324 points. Riverview was the distant runnerup with 172 and Hillsborough took third at 163.
Armwood’s Kyre’ Kelly opened the final round with a 15-5 decision over Riverview’s Douglas Washington at 106 pounds. But Brandon then reeled off six straight victories and won 10 of the next 12 matches.
That group included: Kyle Norstrem (113), Geoff Dobach (120), James Flint (126), Dylan Lucas (132), Devan Berrian (138), Troy Joyce (145), Dakota Greene (160), Dontae’ McGee (170), Bailey Shepperd (195) and Robert Enmon (220).
Breaking up Brandon’s six consecutive wins was Sickles’ Andrew Martin, who scored late and held on for a 4-2 victory over the Eagles’ Tommy Fretwell at 152. Martin, a senior, labeled it the match of his career.
“I just had to remember to keep your head in there and never let up, because anything could happen,” said Martin, a two-time district champion and three-time region qualifier.
There were just two pins in the finals. Robinson’s Luis Peguero pinned East Bay’s Ricky Calderon in 5:11 at 182, and at 285 Chamberlain’s Robert Mosley overcame an early deficit to pin Plant City’s Lance Doenges in 4:43.