BROOKSVILLE — Pasco got a fight right down to the end from Nature Coast, but for the second straight year the Pirates walked away with the Class A, District 6 championship.
In front of a raucous crowd Saturday, the Pirates (163 points) beat the Sharks 163-157 on the strength of six wrestlers advancing to the finals and four individuals claiming championships: Lukas Twardosky (106 pounds), Skyler White (138), T.J. Maple (160) and Andrew Ivie, who won the final (heavyweight) bout at 285 pounds.
In total, 10 Pirates advanced to next week's Class A region tournament. In comparison to last year, Pasco had six champions and advanced 12 to region. This time, the Pirates trailed Nature Coast 138-137 heading into the finals.
"Last year (at district) it wasn't easy either," Pirates coach Mark DeAugustino said. "Fivay (the runnerup to Pasco in 2013) was no slouch. Mike (Lastra) and his team (Nature Coast) pushed us hard, too."
Nature Coast used its depth to make a run, putting six wrestlers in the finals and leaving with two individual winners: Le'Shaun Gray (170) and Frank Ritchie (195). In all, 11 Sharks qualified for the region event.
Weeki Wachee not only crowned its first district champion, the Hornets came away with two titles thanks to Dante Padilla (120) and Jesus Nieves (132).
The victory was especially gratifying for Padilla, who became the first wrestler in school history to qualify for state last year.
"I put in a lot of hard work with my (training partner) Jesus," Padilla said. "A couple of years ago, only two of us (at Weeki Wachee) moved on (to region). This year, it's nice to have some company."
The win for Weeki Wachee heavyweight Anthony Vines in the semifinals was his 50th of the season, a mark only achieved three other times in Hernando County history. Nature Coast's Sean Nguyen won 52 two years ago, while Springstead's Cody Ross and Nick Soto each won 50 in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Other North Suncoast wrestlers who will continue their runs toward state include Wesley Chapel's Jon Galvan (126). Galvan placed at the state meet in Lakeland last year.
Anclote got district titles from first-time champions Brandon McQuinn (113) and Jonte Scott (152).
Robert Napolitano (145) and Jarred Kruse (182) emerged with victories for Gulf.
Hernando's Jesse Gaudin (220) rounded out the individual winners. The senior became only the sixth wrestler in the Leopards' storied history to win three district titles, joining his current coach David Pritz, and Daniel Pritz, Michael Combs, Jesse Graham and Brandyn Kuhn.
2A-5: Springstead rolls
SPRING HILL — Springstead dominated the Class 2A, District 5 meet it hosted, scoring 241 points, well ahead of Citrus (163.5).
Led by undefeated 120-pounder Mike McDonald (37-0), the Eagles crowned eight individual champions and advanced 12 wrestlers to the Class 2A region meet.
2A-8: Jesuit string at 3
TAMPA — Jesuit pulled off a three-peat in winning the Class 2A, District 8 championship at Chamberlain. The Tigers tallied 236.5 points, well ahead of runnerup Robinson's 141.
The top North Suncoast teams were Wiregrass Ranch (79) in sixth and Land O'Lakes (78.5) seventh.
The Bulls crowned multiple champions as Jarred Lanier (113 pounds) and Max Quinones (132) won their classes.
"Every one is different," Jesuit coach Mike Scicchitano said in comparing his three straight district championship teams. "It's always very rewarding as a coach to see the work the team puts in. The kids are rewarded for their hard work. That makes me very happy."
Jesuit placed eight wrestlers in the finals and came away with six champions. Hillsborough had five finalists, but other than Jesuit, Robinson was the most proficient with three of its four finalists winning titles.
Pinning their opponents were Jesuit's Jarrett Roop (106 pounds), Nick Mosco (195) and Austin Underwood (285). Underwood, a Virginia signee who improved to 26-0, had the quickest pin, 1:13 against Robinson's Jacob Wyre.
Also capturing titles for the Tigers were R.C. Consuegra (126), Adam Lewis (138) and Brian Buser (152).
Robinson's Kionte Crocker (145), Luis Peguero (182) and Kendonte Nichols (220) earned championships to help the Knights finish ahead of third-place Hillsborough at 124.5 and Gaither, which took fourth at 123.5. Host Chamberlain had 91.
Times correspondent Steve Lee contributed to this report.