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Hillsborough: All-county wrestling

Wrestler of the Year

Eric Grajales, Sr., Brandon

Why we picked him: Grajales finished his fourth season at Brandon with his fourth individual state championship (135 pounds) and helped the Eagles win their ninth consecutive team title.

Most impressive accomplishment: Grajales finished as the most prominent wrestler in Hillsborough County and one of the top 135-pound wrestlers in the nation. His 67-0 season produced a four-year career record of 218-0, a state record.

Future plans: Grajales will wrestle at the University of Michigan on a full scholarship. Don't be shocked if you see him in the Olympics at some point. Last summer he competed for a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and it's still his goal to get into the Summer Games.

Did you know? The Grajales family has been a part of Brandon's team success for nine years. Along with dad Cesar Sr. and Cesar Jr., the family has produced eight individual and nine team state championships. Brandon has not lost a team state title with a Grajales in the lineup.

First team

103: Keith LeFevre, So., Brandon: Finished the season fifth in state with a 55-16 record

112: Ryan Renkey, Sr., Brandon, and Kevin Norstrem, 8th, Tampa Bay Christian: Both captured individual state championships. Renkey, also a district and region champ, was 66-1; Norstrem finished 45-1

119: Rossi Bruno, Fr., Brandon: State champion captured his second belt with a 63-1 record

125: Tyler Liberatore, Fr., Brandon: Third in the state, won district and region titles, finished 60-1

130: Clark Glass, Fr., Brandon: State champion won his second title with a 61-2 record; also won district and region titles

135: Zach Boyer, Sr., Robinson: Third in the state; region and district champ; finished 42-5

140: Kevin Timothy, Sr., Brandon: Won state, region and district titles, finishing 65-2

145: Joey Cozart, Jr., Brandon: Won state, region, district titles, finishing 65-1

152: Wally Figaro, So., Brandon: Placed third at state with a 61-5 record; won district and region championships

160: Chris Figari, Sr., Bloomingdale: Moved up from 140 to win state, finished 54-0; also won district and region titles

171: Zaq Berridge, Sr., Brandon: Finished third in the state with a 63-5 record

189: Mike Ettore, So., Brandon: State champion, finished 57-8

215: D.J. Woods, Jr., Robinson: A Class A state qualifier who finished 29-11 with two wins at state

285: Nick Hadick, Sr., Durant: Finished fourth at state in one of the toughest weight classes with 50-9 record

Coach of the year

Russ Cozart, Brandon. Not only did he coach a young team back to state dominance, but he guided the Eagles to their ninth consecutive state championship (20th overall) with seven individual champs, plus all 12 state qualifiers placed in the top six.

Second team

103: Sammy Conner, Bloomingdale, Jr. 112: James Gray, Armwood, Sr. 119: Tony Milanes, Alonso, Jr. 125: David Gonzalez, Jesuit, Sr. 130: Ryan Hight, Riverview, Sr. 135: Herman Hernandez, Riverview, Sr. 140: Carlos Montero, Bloomingdale, Sr. 145: T.J. Davis, Durant, Jr. 152: Mike Hawthorne, Robinson, Sr. 160: Kyle Koziel, Brandon, Fr. 171: Tyler Hooks, East Bay, Sr. 189: Kendall Ivy, Alonso, Sr. 215: Mike Lamoureux, Jesuit, Jr. 285: Mike Benitez, Robinson, Sr.

Honorable mention

Alonso: Josh Moore, Joe Piazza, Mike Schepman; Armwood: Timothy Witte; Blake: Adrion Brown; Bloomingdale: Chase Douglas, Bryce Lawson, Anthony Biase, Mike Gazda; Brandon: Ty Jones, Bob Hoelzer, Lorenzo Martinez, Nick Hutchinson, Terry Dawson; Chamberlain: Eddie Santiago, Roger Phillips, Donovan Miller; Durant: Alex Hamm, Titus Horner, Jordan Wellman, Reggie Beal, Marshon Shoemake; East Bay: Billy Cole, Roel Pecina; Freedom: Justin Soto, Josh Fallon, Gabe Allen; Gaither: Michael Drapeau, Nick Pradaxay; Hillsborough: Richard Colhouser, Joseph Lugo; Jefferson: Matt Parsons-Cohrs, Corey Platman, Julio Velez, Rickey Newton; Jesuit: Andrew Alizzi, Austin Boudreau, Anthony Cimino, Mike Popp; Leto: Barrington McNutt, Salvatore Calabrese; Middleton: Abe Fernandez, Jason Pierce, Andre Coleman; Newsome: Theo Vlass, Matt Hinton, Chandler Dobler, Jake Drake; Plant: Nick Piloto, Tony Posada; Plant City: Travis Vollick, Ben Buie; Riverview: Rafael Rivera, Ryan Gascon, Lamarkus Dennis, Jeff Hagin; Robinson: Chris Padilla, Chris Rollins; Sickles: Cory Sullivan, Shawn Mroczko; Tampa Bay Christian: David Alonso, Victor Fugate, Travis Berridge; Tampa Prep: Wes Jarrell, Charlie Baumann, Hector Fontonet; Wharton: Jonathan Vazquiz, Bassam Saed, Basim Saed, Daniel Rodriguez, Nieko Lightfoot, Conrad Jones

Terry Jones, Times correspondent

Hillsborough: All-county wrestling 03/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 21, 2009 10:12pm]
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