Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Wrestling: Budding rivalry between new district foes IRC, Dunedin

Palm Harbor University is the class of Pinellas County wrestling, winning PCAC titles and notching the county's best finish at state the past two years.

While the 'Canes are positioned stronger than ever in 2014, they will graduate eight wrestlers from their starting 14. The door is open for new Pinellas powers to challenge Palm Harbor in its county supremacy.

At least two teams are up to that task, but first they must contend with each other.

Dunedin is an established power while Indian Rocks Christian is emerging. The Falcons have seen wrestlers reach state wrestling immortality three times. The Golden Eagles have had one wrestler make the podium at fifth place. The Falcons field 14 wrestlers when they take the mat. The Golden Eagles only have nine.

Why is this the new rivalry?

"The truth is, they (IRC) are in the driver's seat," Falcon coach Marc Allison said. "They have some tough kids that are putting us in a position where we might be the underdogs."

How does a public school like Dunedin manage to be an underdog to a tiny private school? Dunedin, while much larger than IRC, is still small enough to slip under the enrollment standard of up to 1,480 students for Class A. Dunedin finds itself sharing District 11 with IRC after the re-alignment. And IRC's wrestlers, to the man, are all top flight.

"They (IRC) are usually in a position where all of them have potential to reach the finals," Allison said.

The Golden Eagles' most impressive result so far this year came at the Jerry Mita Invitational, where 23 teams from all over the Tampa Bay area converged. PHU ran away with the team title but the Golden Eagles shocked the rest of the field by coming in second.

"Nobody expected us to go in there (Jerry Mita) and take second place," Golden Eagles coach Jay Dugmore Jr. said. "I was thinking top four, but to take runnerup, that's huge in my book."

The Golden Eagles took eight wrestlers to the Jerry Mita, and four made the finals: senior Jared Wolfenbarger (126), junior Jay Dugmore III. (132), eighth-grader Erich Byelick (145) and sophomore Conner Allshouse (152). Byelick and Allshouse even emerged as champions.

But that's not to say the Falcons are a team of 14 tomatoes. They have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 15 in Class A by Scout.com, and seniors Anthony Dampier (170) and Marc Allison IV (145) are ranked fifth.

Inevitable clashes between Dunedin's Brandon Ditro (ranked 10th) and Wolfenbarger (ninth) at 126, along with Dunedin's Allison (fifth) and Byelick (third) at 145 will go a long way toward determining which team will hoist the district trophy on Feb. 1.

Comments
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

Lightning journal: No easy answers on replacing injured Ryan Callahan

The good news for the Lightning is that GM Steve Yzerman is hopeful RW Ryan Callahan will be ready to go in 3-4 weeks when his upper body injury is re-evaluated. The hard part, however, is finding someone to replace the veteran wing. "I don’t know if...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

Melo cheered, then booed as Knicks spoil his return

NEW YORK — Carmelo Anthony got the cheers but the Knicks got the win, shutting out their former All-Star in the second half and beating the Thunder 111-96 Saturday night for their fourth straight victory. Michael Beasley tied his season high with 30 ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

Rangers stay hot against a favorite opponent, the Bruins

BOSTON — Mats Zuccarello scored a power-play goal 1:56 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Saturday. Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller also scored for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games (9-3-1) overall...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sports in brief

MLBTRADE SENDS KEMP BACK TO L.A.OF Matt Kemp was reacquired by the Dodgers on Saturday as part of a five-player trade with the Braves. The Dodgers sent 1B Adrian Gonzalez, LHP Scott Kazmir, RHP Brandon McCarthy, INF Charlie Culberson and cash to Atla...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

Mistakes doom Ducks in new coach’s debut

LAS VEGAS — Cedrick Wilson caught 10 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown, safety Kekaula Kaniho returned an interception 53 yards for a score and No. 25 Boise State beat Oregon 38-28 in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Brett Rypien threw for 362 yard...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Bucs’ Gerald McCoy, Lavonte David out for Monday’s game vs. Falcons

TAMPA — As if containing All-Pro Julio Jones and the Falcons offense isn’t challenging enough, the Bucs will try to do so Monday night without perhaps their top defensive players, tackle Gerald McCoy and linebacker Lavonte David.On Saturday, Bucs coa...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: Florida State at Texas12:30 p.m.FS1Women: Georgia Tech at Georgia1 p.m.SECStony Brook at Providence2:30 p.m.FS1North Carolina at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPNSavannah State at Baylor3 p.m.Fox SunWomen: USF at Florida International...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Cabreras team up for first-round lead at Father/Son Challenge

ORLANDO — Two-time major winner Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the Father/Son Challenge. Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in the pop...
Updated: 7 hours ago