Two weekends ago in Naples, Hernando County sent a large contingent of grapplers to the FAWA Folkstyle State Championships at Palmetto Ridge High. Spring Hill Wrestling led the way with 14 competitors and the goal of walking away with multiple state titles.
Josh Herrera and Nick Soto both came home with gold medals around their necks for the effort.
Herrera, 11, is still a few years away from competing full-time in the high school ranks, but was able to capture his first state title in the Novice Division at 85 pounds by defeating Miami's Lazaro Rodriguez 6-0 in the finals.
Soto, a member of Springstead's wrestling team, took home a title in the Cadet Division at 125 pounds. He defeated Wakulla's Tyler Hill 7-1 in the championship round.
Other members of the club to place included Matt Landgraff (fourth place at Novice, 80), Conor Ross (second at Novice, 112), Jordan Rivera (fourth at Schoolboy, 84), Sean Redman (third at Schoolboy, 112), Shawn Landgraff (third at Cadet, 140), Andrew Herr (fourth at Cadet, 160) and Kenny Cox (second at Cadet, 215).
Brooksville Wrestling (four wrestlers) and Central Wrestling (one wrestler) both sent members to the state championship tournament as well.
Brooksville's Jesse Graham placed among the five competitors from those clubs when he took fourth place in the Junior Division at 152 pounds.
Graham is among the top grapplers to come out of Hernando High after he placed at the FHSAA State Wrestling Finals for the second season in a row in February.
Junior Olympic Skills: The Hernando County YMCA will be hosting a local qualifying event for the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Skills Competition April 12 at 9 a.m.
The competition includes four athletic portions (basketball, soccer, tennis and track and field) and is open to youths between the ages of 8 and 13. Registration is free and is intended to promote sportsmanship in the year of the upcoming Summer Olympics.
For more information, contact local host Amber Slusser at (352) 688-9622 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event's Web site at www.jrolympicskills.com.
Kiwanis Day at the Ballpark: Kiwanis International of Florida chapters will be organizing at community athletic fields in support of local organized competition April 5.
Kiwanis Club of Spring Hill has already decided to meet at Anderson Snow Road Park in Spring Hill from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on that day.
The group will be at the concession stand cooking and selling food while the parents spend time with their children in accordance with Kiwanis International's mission on the day of the event.
The local chapter encourages members of the community to come out and lend their support to the effort.
For more information, contact president Dana Cutlip at (352) 428-4714.
Pitch, Hit & Run: The Aquafina MLB Pitch, Hit & Run Competition will be coming to Brooksville at the Jerome Brown Community Center Adult Fields on April 23 at 6 p.m.
There will be four separate age divisions including 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and 13/14-year-olds.
If they qualify, youths will have the opportunity to advance through four different rounds of competition with the final two rounds taking place at MLB ballparks and the national finals at the 2008 MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium in New York.
All participants must bring a copy of their birth certificate and fill out a waiver/registration form prior to the start of the competition.
For more information, contact local coordinator Lou Bermudez at (352) 544-5498.
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