BROOKSVILLE — This might not be the deepest lineup Springstead has put on the mat, but the Eagles still walked away with their eighth consecutive team title at the Kiwanis Invitational on Saturday.
Springstead (189 points) placed only four wrestlers in the finals, the fewest Eagles in the Kiwanis championship round since the eight-year run began. Their performance was still good enough to coast past runnerup Lake Gibson (135.5).
"I tend to dwell on the negatives a lot, but there were a lot of ups and downs this weekend," Springstead coach Sal Basile said. "We figured a way to win, so I am happy with that."
Returning state champion Jordan Rivera (145 pounds), in his first tournament since coming back from football, showed only a little rust on his way to a fourth Kiwanis title in as many years. "They pushed me in practice this week," said Rivera, who capped his 4-0 weekend with a pin against Indian Rocks Christian's Erick Byelick. "It is exactly what I needed."
Other Springstead champions were Matt Landgraff (106), Mike McDonald (120) and Billy Swift (160). Landgraff improved to 8-0 with a 3-0 decision over Tampa Bay HEAT's Cullen Telfer in his final. McDonald had all four wins via pin, and Swift moved to 8-0 with a 9-3 decision over Pasco's T.J. Maple.
"Most of the leaders did their jobs," Basile said. "Seventy percent of our team is new guys, so we are still developing. An (eighth straight Kiwanis win) is definitely big, especially for the young guys. Most of them have never been a part of something like this."
East Lake Invite: Fivay finalists Cole Manion (120), Andrew Scherer (160) and Nicco Lightfoot (182) all won their championship matches and the Falcons led North Suncoast teams with an eighth-place finish (109.5 points). Palm Harbor U. won the team title with 268.5 points. Anclote finished 11th as Brandon McQuinn (113) reached the final, and Gulf tied for 13th.