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Hillsborough: Brandon maintains grip with 39th title at county wrestling championships

RIVERVIEW — Saturday's Hillsborough County Championships were hosted by Riverview, having been relocated from Wharton last season.

Regardless of where the county championships have taken place over the past 39 years, however, there has been one constant. Brandon has won them all.

The Eagles won handily again with 439.5 points. Durant tallied 218 as the runnerup for a second straight season. Rounding out the top five were East Bay (152), Lennard (131) and Armwood (130.5).

"It was really a good tournament," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "There were 27 teams, and we put 14 (wrestlers) in the finals. I'm proud of that."

From that field of 14 finalists, Brandon produced 12 champions. Strawberry Crest's Abe Fernandez, at 103 pounds, and Durant's Josh Fulford, at 140, were the only non-Eagle champions.

Fulford's win over Brandon's Brice Jones was especially rewarding since he overcame a 4-2 deficit for a pin at 5 minutes, 57 seconds.

"When I'm in matches like that my mentality is go big or go home," said Fulford, who last season had a disappointing showing at state after winning district and region titles at 135. "Sometimes things don't work out for you, so you've just got to be that pit bull."

Fernandez opened the championship round with a 17-7 win over Brandon's Devan Berian. That left Fernandez with a 35-1 mark at 103, his lone loss coming against defending state champion Richie Bliss of Springstead.

"It means a lot," Fernandez said of his victory. "Brandon's had a good program going on for, like, forever."

The dozen Eagles to win county titles were: James Flint (112), Victor Fugate (119), Kevin Norstrem (125), Rossi Bruno (130), Tyler Liberatore (135), Travis Berridge (145), Clark Glass (152), Wally Figaro (160), Kyle Koziel (171), Mike Ettore (189), Lorenzo Martinez (215) and Joe Dudley (285), who won in double overtime 3-2.

Team Scores: 1. Brandon 439.5, 2. Durant 218.0, 3. Eastbay 152.0, 4. Lennard 131.0, 5. Armwood 130.5, 6. Chamberlain 129.0, 7. Strawberry Crest 127.0, 8. Bloomingdale 123.5, 9. Steinbrenner 122.5, 10. Robinson 122.0, 11. Plant City 121.5, 12. Riverview 108.5, 13. Wharton 97.0, 14. Plant 86.0, 15. Freedom 79.0, 16. Newsome 75.5, 17. Alonso 69.0, 18. Gaither 63.5, 19. Jefferson 63.5, 20. Spoto 60.0, 21. King 50.0, 22. Hillsborough 49.0, 23. Middleton 39.0, 24. Blake 27.0, 25. Leto 25.0, 26. Sickles 23.0, 27. Tampa Bay Tech 16.0

INDIVIDUALS: 103: Fernandez (StC) maj. dec. Berrian (Bran) 17-8; 112: Flint (Bran) maj. dec. Joyce (PC)14-6; 119: Fugate (Bran) dec. Patisaul (StC) 11-4; 125: Norstrem (Bran) tech fall Duchesne 17-1; 130: Bruno (Bran) maj. dec. Phillips (Ch) 20-6; 135: Tyler Liberatore (Bran) pin Reagor (Blo) 3:42; 140: Fulford (Ste) pin Jones (Bran) 5:57; 145: Berridge (Bran) dec. Phillips (Len) 6-3; 152: Glass (Bran) tech fall Mederos (Pla) 19-3; 160: Figaro (Bran) tech fall Watford (Dur) 24-9; 171: Koziel (Bran) maj. dec. Stokes (Dur) 13-2; 189: Ettore (Bran) injury default Hewlett (Dur); 215: Martinez (Bran) dec. Richards (Hil) 6-4; 285: Dudley (Bran) dec. Galloway (pLA) 3-2.

Hillsborough: Brandon maintains grip with 39th title at county wrestling championships 01/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 11:38pm]

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