NEW PORT RICHEY — Before Springstead puts the brakes on its wrestling program and goes off into the winter break to spend quality time with family and loved ones, there was still the serious business of one tournament where the Eagles have established a holiday tradition — the Gulf Duals.
Saturday, a winning tradition continued as the Eagles won the holiday event for the fourth time in the last five years, with ease.
Springstead went undefeated through the pool session, then defeated Gulf 62-16 in the semifinals and Citrus 56-21 in the championship finals at the Bever-Hicks Center.
"We had our goal, and that was to win the tournament," Springstead coach Eric Swensen said. "We are going to use this tournament to help motivate us over the Christmas break."
The Gulf Duals format splits 20 teams into four five-team pools. Each team wrestles dual matches against the others in its pool, with one team sitting out each round. Then the undefeated team of each pool advances to the semifinal round to pair off to eventually decide first through fourth overall.
Swensen's team breezed through Pool A, overpowering Tampa Prep (66-9), River Ridge (70-8), Clearwater (83-0) and Wesley Chapel (81-0).
Gulf, Dunedin and Citrus won their respective pools, with host Gulf drawing Springstead in the semis.
Dunedin fell by one point to Citrus, 33-32, and Springstead dominated Gulf 62-16.
Springstead had six wrestlers run through the event with 6-0 records: Richie Bliss (103 pounds), Sean Redman (119/125), Nick Soto (130), Cody Ross (135), Kenny Cox (215) and John Dreggors (285). Sam Colon went 5-0 at 140, Colton Zimermann was 4-0 at 145 and Tim Furchek 2-0 at 145.
Gulf had two wrestlers go through 6-0: Anthony Ayers (119) and Ladarious Jackson (152).
"(Springstead) hurt our feelings," Gulf coach Travis DeWalt said. "We needed this to closeout the first half of the season and help us get fired up for the second half of the season and the state tournament. We need to get healthy and get a full lineup out there."