Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough County wrestling preview

Brandon 170-pounder Travis Berridge, top, is one of the many Eagles expected to challenge for an individual state title.

PHELAN M. EBENHACK | Special to the Times (2011)

Brandon 170-pounder Travis Berridge, top, is one of the many Eagles expected to challenge for an individual state title.

RUSKIN — Lennard's Ron Buffano said receiving the 2012 Joel Medgebow Award as the county's coach of the year gave him an opportunity to boast about his wrestlers.

"It meant a lot," said Buffano, a former Bloomingdale standout who got the Lennard program off the ground in 2009. "To me, that means that they were the team of the year."

While he might get an argument from anyone associated with the Brandon program that owns 12 straight state titles and 23 overall, Buffano listed a trio of Longhorn wrestlers with state potential: seniors Herminio Camacho (132 pounds) and Tyler Sierra (138 or 145), along with junior Darrian Mills, who placed sixth at 120 in last year's state meet but will move up to 126 this season.

"I think Lennard is going to be really tough," Hillsborough coach Mike Patrick said. "(The Longhorns) graduated two key seniors, but they're returning a lot."

As for Patrick's team that placed 15th in last year's state meet, he has two returning state qualifiers in senior Demetrius Hill, who finished fifth at 195, and Jacob West, a junior who wrestles at 113. And 160-pounder Kyle Knauer had 35 wins last year and was one match from making state.

King has three seniors to watch: Jacob Wasserman, a 2012 state runnerup at 106 who bumps up to 120, 138-pounder Joseph Affronti and Andre Accomando at 113.

Armwood's Donoven Hough won a state title at 106 and moves up to 113 as a sophomore. And count Durant's Richard Woods, Jesuit's Wyatt Roop and Robinson's Luis Peguero among the candidates aiming to return to state.

Then there is Brandon with the usual handful of state champion candidates. This year's group includes the Norstrem brothers in senior Kevin (138), a four-time state champion, and freshman Kyle (113), a state champion at Tampa Bay Christian; defending 106-pound state champ Dylan Lucas, a sophomore; junior 120-pounder James Flint, a three-time state champ; and 160-pounder Jacob Haydock, who seeks his second straight state title.

Other Eagles to keep an eye on: Travis Berridge (170, fourth at state) and Devan Berrian (132, fifth at state).

Up next on the wrestling docket is the Cougar Invitational, which returns to Plant City after a one-year stint at the Tampa Convention Center due to a remodeling and expansion of the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds' Expo Hall.

The prestigious tournament, which began with eight teams in 1996, now annually lists 32 teams. The event begins Friday and ends Dec. 1 with teams slated to compete on eight mats in a 25,000-square-foot venue that seats 1,200.

"I'm real curious to see how big the event is," said Patrick, adding, "I really liked it at the convention center last year. It was run well."

Hillsborough County wrestling preview 11/24/12 [Last modified: Saturday, November 24, 2012 8:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.