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Hernando wrestlers test skills in national events

Over the past few weeks, the Spring Hill Wrestling Club has taken its top wrestlers around the country to face top competition. And the local grapplers, who already boast multiple prep state titles, have not disappointed.

Five wrestlers, all of whom competed for Springstead High School's successful program this past season, competed in Virginia Beach, Cedar Falls, Iowa, or both.

Cody Ross, who won the Class 2A state high school title in February, added a national title at the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals in Cedar Falls. Competing at 140 pounds, Ross swept five matches, including a 7-2 win over Oregon's Abraham Rodriguez. Rodriguez is ranked No. 1 nationally in freestyle, according to

Ross also took eighth place at the National High School Coaches Association High School Sophomore Nationals in Virginia Beach. In a 36-man bracket, he went 5-2, earning All-America status.

John Dreggors, who was disappointed with his inability to place at the Florida high school championships, made up for it in Virginia and Iowa. He is now a national champion.

The sophomore heavyweight swept his four matches with two pins at the USA Folkstyle Nationals. He also gained All-America status with a seventh-place finish at Virginia Beach in the 285-pound weight class. He went 5-2 in a 24-man bracket there.

Nick Soto, no stranger to All-America honors, earned the status again in Virginia Beach. At the NHSCA Junior Nationals, he took fifth place in a 64-man bracket at the 130-pound weight class. It was the third consecutive season that Soto earned a spot on the stage in Virginia Beach, having made the medal stand as a freshman and sophomore. He went 8-2 this year.

Casey Quinn and Shawn Landgraff, both standouts for Springstead, made the trip to the NHSCA tournament but did not place.

FAITH PRESBYTERIAN DODGEBALL: Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Brooksville, which has an extensive community sports program, hosts a dodgeball tournament on April 24.

The tournament starts at noon, and the entry fee is $40 per team, with six players on the court at a time.

There will be three games going on at once, both indoors and outdoors, to ensure maximum playing time.

There will be coed and men's divisions in a round-robin format, with a prize package for the winning team in each bracket.

Music, food and other festivities will make the tournament suitable for the entire family. Lunch will be offered for a fee.

Contact Drew Taylor, the church's director of outreach, at or (352) 584-7716 for information.

HUMANE SOCIETY GOLF TOURNAMENT: Scott Barnwell Insurance and Hardy Team Re/Max Marketing Specialists are sponsoring their first Charity Golf Tournament on May 3 at Silverthorn Country Club in Spring Hill.

The tournament is a four-person scramble format beginning at 8:30 a.m. The entry fee is $240 per team and $60 per individual, covering golf and cart. Lunch is available for an additional $5. Individual golfers are welcome and will be grouped with other singles.

All proceeds will go to the Humane Society of the Nature Coast. There will be additional prizes for raffles and hole-in-one and closest to the pin contests.

Call Cindy Baratta at (352) 684-5275 or visit for information.

MLB PITCH, HIT & RUN: The Brooksville Recreation Department is hosting a preliminary qualifier of the Aquafina Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run competition on April 24 in Brooksville.

The skills contest is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Tom Varn Park and is free for ages 7 to 14. There will be four age divisions: 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14.

Winners will move on to the next of four levels of competition, with region winners competing at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and national winners at July's MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif.

Individual pitching, hitting, running and all-around champions will advance to the next level of competition. Entrants must bring a copy of their birth certificate to the event.

For information, call Tina Nichols at (352) 540-3835.

BAR ASSOCIATION GOLF TOURNAMENT: The Hernando County Bar Association's annual golf tournament will be May 6 at the Brooksville Country Club at Majestic Oaks, 23446 Links Drive, Brooksville.

The shotgun start is scheduled for 1 p.m. The cost is $50 per golfer or $175 per team (four golfers). All proceeds will benefit the association's scholarship fund.

For information or a registration form, call Amy Germann at (352) 596-0526.

LITTLE BUDDIES ATHLETICS: The Brooksville Recreation Department is about to begin another installment of Little Buddies Athletics with two more sports.

The Little Buddies Tennis program, open to ages 4 to 7, is designed to help parents work one-on-one with their children while teaching them the basics of tennis.

Beginning Monday, the tennis program will be held weekly from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. for beginners and from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. for advanced students at the Jerome Brown Community Center in Brooksville. The camp will run for eight Mondays.

The Little Buddies Baseball program, open to ages 3 to 5, is designed to help parents work one-on-one with their children while teaching them the fundamentals of the game.

Beginning April 27, the program will be held weekly from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m. on Tuesdays on the softball fields outside the Jerome Brown Community Center. The camp will run for six weeks.

Both programs cost $50 per child and include a T-shirt.

Call the Brooksville Recreation Department at (352) 540-3835.

EDUCATION FOUNDATION GOLF TOURNAMENT: The Hernando County Education Foundation will hold its annual golf tournament May 14 at Southern Hills Plantation Club in Brooksville.

The tournament, sponsored by the construction company Skanska, is a four-person team scramble format. Entry fees are $100 per golfer or $400 per team. If a business would like to sponsor a team, the team can join for $450. The deadline for business sponsorships is May 7.

Registration opens at 11:30 a.m., with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Dinner, awards presentations and door prizes will be at 5:30 p.m.

Go online to or call (352) 238-2677.

FISHING TOURNAMENT SPONSORSHIP: The Hogan Law Firm Charity Fishing Tournament to benefit HPH Hospice is looking for sponsors.

Last year's inaugural event had more than 50 anglers and raised more than $13,000 for hospice.

This year's tournament casts off April 24 from Bayport. A dinner and awards ceremony will be held at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park after the tournament.

E-mail to Debbie Hogan at or Jennifer Rey at jennifer@hogan, or call (352) 799-8423.

To notify us of community sports achievements or coming events, contact Derek J. LaRiviere at or (352) 584-6337.

Hernando wrestlers test skills in national events 04/14/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 5:00pm]
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