PINELLAS PARK — Palm Harbor University won its fourth straight team title at the 23rd Jerry Mita Invitational in dominant fashion Saturday at Pinellas Park, sending 10 wrestlers to finals, crowning seven champions and scoring 319 points.
Runnerup Indian Rocks Christian (five in finals, two champs) and third-place Boca Ciega (three in finals) were well behind with 178.5 and 170 points, respectively, but Pirates coach Tobey Alvarez was quite satisfied.
"I'm ecstatic," he said. "We went from barely making it to now we're third place; it says a lot about these guys. We've been to three tournaments and we've brought home three trophies."
The Hurricanes took the first five finals: Tim Sakow (106), Anthony Mina (113), Joe Capone (120), Jared Prince (126) and Connor Prince (132). But coach Brad Sakevich was most impressed with 182-pounder Steven Borrelli, who beat Kevin Underwood of Osceola 7-5. Borrelli had lost to Underwood a week ago.
Another installment of the Anthony Agazarm-Anthony Parisi rivalry was fought at 138 pounds. PHU's Agazarm won a last-second thriller 6-5 last week at East Lake. On Saturday, Seminoles' Parisi led 4-1 after one period but only 4-3 going into the third. After Parisi escaped for a point, Agazarm got a take-down to tie the match at 5. Parisi took the lead with an escape with a minute left. Though Agazarm gained a head lock, he could not score a takedown and Parisi won 6-5 to also gain the title as most outstanding wrestler.
IRC's champions were eighth-grader Erich Byelick at 145 and Connor Allshouse at 152, where he topped PHU's Tucker Hardwick 5-3.
Host Pinellas Park got its lone champion at 195, where Chance Leccese beat Boca Ciega's Clifton Thomas 7-5.