GULFPORT — First came the hoopla, then the hammer and finally the hysteria. Unexpectedly and dramatically, Largo drove home the point the past six days that it has arrived as a major wrestling power.
Last week, the Packers won the Pinellas County Athletic Conference team title for the first time. Friday, Largo won its second district title (the first came in 1999), outscoring defending three-time Class 2A-10 champion Dixie Hollins 262.5-231.
Better still, the Packers advanced all 14 wrestlers to next week's region meet, something the program had never done.
"It's been a pretty good week," Largo coach Jeremy Frioud said.
Of the 11 in finals, the Packers had six champs: Christian White (119), Clarence Longley (135), Cody McKinnon (140), Joshua Jeffries (145), Christopher Johnson (152) and Derrick Doss (171).
"This is what we expected coming into the tournament," Frioud said. "But I actually thought we could do better, especially in the finals."
Largo's toughest competition came from the Rebels. Those two teams occupied 19 of the 28 spots in the finals and were the only teams to have their entire lineup place in the top four.
The difference was the Packers had 11 in the finals compared to eight for the Rebels.
Largo wrapped up the title with three final bouts remaining.
The Rebels had five champions: Tyler Sunseri (112), Dana Harrington (125), Jordan McKenzie (130), Luis Aldana (189) and Dominic Irizarry (215).
Osceola, third overall, had two individual winners, Jonathan Gille (160) and Shane Haller (285). Boca Ciega's lone champion was De'Jhuan Monroe (103).