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)

State wrestling: Brandon well on way to 10th straight title

LAKELAND — For Brandon, the opponents might be a little different, but the results are the same.

As Day 1 of the state wrestling finals wrapped up at the Lakeland Center on Friday night, the Eagles (104 points) held a sizable lead over Hialeah American to near a 10th consecutive team championship. The only difference between this title and the previous nine is that this is Brandon's first season in Class 3A.

"We're doing what I thought we would do," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "The state tournament is full of upsets and surprises."

The dynasty will continue despite a couple of hiccups in the road. Brandon qualified all 14 of its wrestlers through region, but senior Terry Dawson (112 pounds) narrowly missed weight the morning of competition and was forced to forfeit both his matches. Dawson was a state finalist his sophomore year.

The Eagles did advance 10 to the semifinals, four more than any other team in its class. Rossi Bruno (119 pounds), Tyler Liberatore (130), Clark Glass (145), Joe Cozart (152) and Mike Ettore (189) are all going for multiple state championships in their storied careers. Cozart, a senior, would become only the ninth wrestler in state history to achieve four titles in one career, joining former Brandon greats David Craig, Cesar Grajales and Eric Grajales.

Durant (Class 2A), Tampa Prep (A) and Tampa Bay Christian (A) each had two wrestlers reach the semifinals. Durant's T.J. Davis (152) and Titus Horner (171) each went the distance in some tough matches.

Tampa Prep's Wes Jarrell (160), joined by teammate Hector Fontanet (152) in the semifinals, placed fifth last season and is hoping to improve on that mark this time around.

Tampa Bay Christian has a history of success at the lighter weights, and this season it will be represented by James Flint (103) and Troy Joyce (119) in the semifinals.

Other local hopefuls to reach the semifinals include Plant City's William Joyce (103), Newsome's Chandler Dobler (152) and Jesuit's Anthony Cimino (140).

fast facts

State wrestling

At the Lakeland Center

Admission: $8 per session; parking is $7

Today: Wrestlebacks,

9 a.m.; semifinals, 11; championship finals, 6:35 p.m.

State wrestling: Brandon well on way to 10th straight title 02/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  2. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  3. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Steven Souza Jr., hugging Mallex Smith after Smith’s solo home run in the eighth inning, feels relief after tests are negative on his injured hip.
  4. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)