PINELLAS PARK — Earlier in this young season, the East Bay wrestling team showed that it has a lot of positive building blocks. But even with such an influx of youthful talent, Indians coach Erik Matricardi wasn't too sure his team was ready to take home a title just yet.
Then the young Indians proved him wrong Saturday evening, as East Bay continued building on its recent success. The Indians sent two wrestlers to the finals and both posted victories there to help lift East Bay to the team title over a field of 22 other teams at the 18th annual Jerry Mita Invitational.
"Our goal coming in was just to take a trophy home," Matricardi said.
"Once we started and began to see the results we were putting together, we realized that it was possible for us to take home a team title. I'm just proud of the hard work all the kids and coaches have put in."
The Indians edged Palm Harbor University 277-221 for the team title. East Bay's two champions were Jonathan McEaneney (112 pounds) and Ismael Calderon (160), who wrestled in one of the more exciting bouts of the night against Osceola's Jonathan Gille.
Calderon pulled off several escapes in the final period to break open a 6-6 bout. The final escape made it 10-6 and clinched the title.
Northside Christian's Dalton Dennis continued his early season tear by easily taking care of Lely's Guillermo Moreno 18-3 in a major decision in the 135-pound final. Northside finished third with 182 points as a team.
Lakewood's Daniel Clarke broke his wrist, according to coach Frank Niles, in the 189-pound final match against Gaither's Anthony Diaz. Clarke won by default because Diaz used an illegal slam.
Jerry Mita Invitational
at Pinellas Park
Top five team scores: 1. East Bay 277, 2. Palm Harbor 221, 3. Northside Christian 182, 4. Osceola 168.5, 5. Lakewood 146
Finals: 103: Evan Dipsiner (Lakewood) over De'Jhaun Monroe (Boca Ciega); 112: Jonathan McEaneney (East Bay) dec. Spencer Kemp (Pinellas Park), 7-3; 119: Reese Gorman (Palm Harbor) default win over Jonathan Poisson (Osceola); 125: Brian Travis (Northside) dec. Josh Kampman (Palm Harbor) 8-2; 130: Aaron Hartman (Palm Harbor) dec. Dryden Dennis (Northside) 4-0; 135: Dalton Dennis (Northside) maj. dec. Guillermo Moreno (Lely) 18-3; 140: Anthony Melilo (Northside) pin Dontae McGee (Admiral Farragut), 1:18; 145: Nick Vios (Palm Harbor) maj. dec. Jordan Horriot (Osceola) 10-2; 152: Mitchell Larivee (Seminole) dec. Zane May (Northside) 8-7; 160: Ismael Calderon (East Bay) dec. Jonathan Gille (Osceola) 10-6; 171: Kenny Price (Lakewood) dec. Kaleb Deedrick (Braden River) 4-3; 189: Daniel Clarke (Lakewood) injury default Anthony Diaz (Gaither); 215: Dennis Homol (Palm Harbor) dec. Jared Willet (Osceola) 5-3; 285: Kazimierz Dymek (Booker) pin Zack Massey 1:59.