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Gulf's DeWalt got first district title

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Travis DeWalt of Gulf made quick work of Springstead's Willie Hill on Saturday, pinning the Eagles junior 55 seconds into their 112-pound championship match in the Class 3A, District 7 high school wrestling tournament. DeWalt (25-1) wasn't in the mood to fool around.

"From a senior's point of view, he (Hill) was trying to take something that belonged to me," DeWalt said. "And if he thought he was going to get it from me, he was wrong. He would have had to kill me to get it."

A two-time state qualifier and the No. 1 wrestler in his weight class, according to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association poll, DeWalt amazingly never had won a district crown.

After hesitation . . . a champion!

SPRING HILL - When the final whistle blew to signify the end of Sergio Cacciotti's 103-pound championship match with Dean Duncan of Ridgewood on Saturday night, Cacciotti hardly looked like a Class 3A, District 7 wrestling champion.

Even Cacciotti's coach, Tom Feely of Zephyrhills, wasn't about to celebrate.

"I thought we were going to overtime," said Cacciotti, a junior who was seeded second behind Duncan in the weight division.

But overtime was not to be.

Feely became convinced of that after confirming points with the official scorekeeper, and Cacciotti knew he could savor the victory only after his arm was raised.

For the record, Cacciotti won 6-5. He led 6-4 but gave up one point for stalling in the waning seconds and held on to improve to 22-1 despite a sore left arm that has plagued him most of the season.

Duncan, also a junior, fell to 24-2.

Lawson proved seedings wrong

SPRING HILL - When Hernando High's Robert Lawson found out he was seeded fourth in the 171-pound weight class at Saturday's Class 3A, District 7 high school wrestling tournament, he was hardly happy.

"When I heard that," Lawson said, "I was kind of down. I said, 'I know I can do better than fourth.' " So Lawson proceeded to prove the seedings wrong.

He pinned Kevin Kanaar of Central in 1 1/2 minutes in a quarterfinal match, avenged a tie of earlier in the week by beating second-seeded John Day of Springstead 4-2 in the semifinals, then squared off with top-seeded Ryland Burkhalter of Citrus in the championship finals, where he pulled off a big upset, 17-7.

Burkhalter, Day and third-seeded David Rodriguez of Hudson also earned spots in Friday's Region 3A-II tournament at Auburndale.

"My goal now," said Lawson (18-4-1), a junior, "is to place in regions, go to state to see what it's like, then make it back to state next year and place there."

Eagles' Trudell to sign Wednesday

SPRING HILL - Mark Trudell of Springstead High will sign a letter of intent to play football for the University of Central Florida on Wednesday afternoon, Eagles coach Bill Browning said.

Trudell, a first-team Class 4A all-state lineman, is scheduled to sign scholarship papers with the NCAA Division 1-AA school at 2:30 p.m. in the office of Springstead principal Richard Fauble.

Central Florida defensive coordinator Rusty Russell will be in Spring Hill to sign Trudell, Browning said.

Wednesday is the first day high school football seniors can commit in writing to NCAA-member schools.

Inverness club site of district golf

CRYSTAL RIVER - Connell Lake Golf and Country Club in Inverness will be the site on April 26 for the District 5 high school boys golf tournament.

"We've wanted to get the tournament for several years," Connell Lake head pro George Ritch said. "When the voting came up this year, we were fortunate enough to get it, and I'm excited. We're going to put on a good tournament for the boys."

District 5 takes in 24 high schools, including Citrus, Crystal River, Lecanto, Dunnellon, Hernando, Springstead, Brooksville Central and Wildwood.

The district meeting to determine when and where the tournament would be conducted was held at Ocala Forest High in January. Chiefland Golf and Country Club got the District 5 girls tournament, scheduled for April 25.

Trinity College ups record to 19-11

NEW PORT RICHEY - The Trinity College men's basketball team defeated Southeastern (Ala.) Bible College 137-79 on Monday.

The Tigers (19-11) were led by Roandl Laing, who scored 23 points and had 15 rebounds. Nine of Trinity's 10 players in action on Monday scored in double figures.

The Tigers led 75-50 at halftime. Trinity will play tonight in the Florida Christian Conference tournament at Clearwater Christian College.

Crystal River cheerleaders place first

CRYSTAL RIVER - The Crystal River High cheerleading squad won a state title at the Florida State Fair on Saturday. The Pirates were selected the best among 10 schools competing in the Class A-2A division, beating out defending champion Jacksonville Bolles.

"This is the end of our competition season this year," said sponsor Cathie Bramlett, whose Pirates competed in the National Cheerleading Association's National Championship in Dallas in December. "They've worked so hard all year. They've only had four weeks off since June."

As state champions, the Pirates will be pictured on the cover of the 1991 Florida State Fair brochure.