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Wrestling: Fivay wins SAC tournament, the school's first-ever conference crown

HUDSON — With a dominant victory in the Sunshine Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, Fivay didn't just win a title. The Falcons achieved something no program in school history had ever done before: win a conference championship.

Hosting the event, Fivay amassed 230.5 points, had eight wrestlers reach the finals and had four individual champions. Meanwhile, runnerup Sunlake finished with 162 points, had two in the finals and one champion.

"This week was about building momentum into district," Fivay coach Andy Medders said. "We're going to feed off of this going into the state tournament."

The most impressive of the Falcons' wins might have come from Mike Hahn in the 220-pound weight class. Faced with a rematch of last year's SAC finals against Pasco's Zack Jordan, Hahn pushed his record to 45-0 this season by pinning the Pirates heavyweight in 5 minutes, 44 seconds. Last season, he pinned Jordan in 3:32.

One season after winning two individual crowns, Fivay also got titles from Jesse Barker (126 pounds), Dominic Grilli (170) and Nicco Lightfoot (182).

Sunlake did its damage with depth. Although Benjamin Franklin (285) pushed through for a 5-3 upset victory over Fivay's Kelly Meus, the Seahawks had 10 other placers and finished with the second-most pins in the tournament with 16.

"What it was (Saturday) was 14 guys working all together," Sunlake coach Russ Schenk said. "This is the toughest tournament a lot these kids have ever been in, and I think it's a good barometer of where we are heading into district."

Three notable individual champions were Wiregrass Ranch's Kyle Koesling (113) and Elliot Morales (138), Pasco's J.P. Gamez (120), and Wesley Chapel's Nick Popolillo (152). The wins gave them all multiple SAC titles in their careers.

Koesling pinned Fivay's Troy Reed in 4:05 for his second conference title in three years. Morale's 9-0 major decision over Pasco's Niko DeAugustino gave him back-to-back titles. Gamez decisioned Fivay's Sean Speer 14-8 for his second SAC title as well. Popolillo will finish his career with three crowns after pinning Mitchell's Jarrett Frisbie in 3:16.

Pasco coach Mark DeAugustino told Gamez that his win was "just a stepping stone" toward state.

"It's been my dream since I was in eighth grade to win at state," Gamez said. "It's really something when something transitions from a dream to a goal."

Gulf, whose streak of three consecutive conference titles ended, had three individual titles — Anthony Agazarm (106), Robert Napolitano (132) and Spencer Baxter (160) — while coming in third with 150.5 points.

Wrestling: Fivay wins SAC tournament, the school's first-ever conference crown 01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 10:55pm]
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