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It's time for others to state their case

While River Ridge High plays host to the Class 2A state wrestling tournament, Pasco County's 3A schools travel to regional tournaments today and Saturday.

will be at Auburndale High for the Class 3A, Region III meet, while Hudson, Pasco and Zephyrhills go to Springstead High in Spring Hill for the Region I meet.

The top four regional finishers in each of 14 weight classes advance to the 3A state tournament Feb. 28-29 at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

District champion Gulf and runner-up Land O'Lakes each produced 14 region qualifiers at the District 9 tourney last weekend. Given that the top four finishers in the five-team tournament advanced to regionals, most individuals advanced automatically or had to win just one match.

But six Buccaneers and four Gators did more than that, taking district championships. Gulf's champions were Robbie Milla (103), Chris Bennett (119), (Kenny Adler (135), Keith Drummond (145), David Galssman (152) and Tim Soccorso (220); Land O'Lakes' champs were Brian Alvarez (112), Mike Winsbro (130), Brian Creuz (160) and Mike McBride (275).

Ridgewood advanced nine wrestlers, including district champs Matt Reed (171) and Josh Turner (189).

Hernando County teams dominated the District 4 meet last week at Springstead; Central, Springstead and Hernando finished 1-2-3 at the seven-team tournament. But three Pasco County wrestlers advanced to today's regionals with district crowns: Hudson's Tommy Dougherty (145), Pasco's Jermaine Hicks (171) and Zephyrhills' Steve Greene (275).

The Region III meet at Auburndale includes Districts 9-12. Wrestling begins Friday at 2 p.m. and will continue until about 9 p.m. Semifinals start Saturday at 10 a.m., followed immediately by wrestlebacks. Consolations begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by the finals.

The Region I meet at Springstead includes Districts 1-4. The schedule is the same as the Region III meet, except that Saturday's consolations are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Admission for each tournament is $3.