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Wrestling: Springstead still soaking in Cougar Invitational title

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Mon. December 7, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

The magnitude of this victory was not lost on Springstead coach Eric Swensen.

The Eagles had never won the Cougar Invitational, gauged by many as one of the top regular-season wrestling tournaments in the state. Now striving for a state title seems to be a reasonable goal.

On Saturday, Springstead edged Kissimmee Osceola 212.50 to 211. The tournament included many perennial powers such as Fort Myers Riverdale, Homestead South Dade and Bradenton Manatee.

The Eagles won after nine wrestlers placed in their respective weight classes. They were led by winners Nick Soto (130 pounds) and Cody Ross (135 pounds). Each finished 4-0.

Overall, this was a huge test for Springstead. The Eagles have aspirations of winning a state title and this was arguably their toughest test to date.

"Most of the coaches talk about how (the Cougar Invitational is) the best tournament in the state," Swensen said. "...Last year, we had six guys place and all of them placed at the state tournament. I had nine place this year, so if I can get those nine to place at state tournament I'm feeling really good."

igould@tampabay.com

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