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TEAMS AT A GLANCE

CENTRAL

COACH: Mike Ralph.

LAST YEAR: Tied for 59th in Class 2A Florida Finals.

KEY LOSSES: Viet Lam, 103 pounds; Frank Anderson, 130; Darren Grant, 152-60; Richard Jaquez, 189; Ryan Troester, 215.

KEY RETURNEES: Bucky Solomon, Sr., 112-19; Sergio Matos, Sr., 145-52; Paul Witiak, So., 171; Tom McMenemy, Jr., 189; Bill Mechler, Jr., 140; James McCosby, Sr., 140.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Tim Gaynor, Sr., 189; Wade Hampton, Jr., Hwt.; Richie DelValle, Jr., 214-275; Ron Jackson, Sr., 130-35; Harvey Longley, Sr., 125.

OUTLOOK: The Bears lost Grant, who advanced to state last season, and Lam, a district champion. Central returns fourth-year varsity wrestlers in Solomon and Matos for what Ralph described as a rebuilding season. Solomon went to the Florida Finals as a sophomore, but he was bothered by his tonsils (which have been removed) last year. He placed fourth at 112 in preseason nationals two weekends ago in Winston-Salem, N.C. Gaynor wrestled two seasons ago, but knee problems kept him from competing last year. Ralph, the former junior varsity coach, switched places with Alan Solomon.

HERNANDO

COACH: COACH: Matt Smith.

LAST YEAR: 37th in Class A Florida Finals.

LOSSES: Billy Woods, 130 pounds; Jason Bianco, Hwt.; Jimmy Tayor, Hwt.; Ryan Brown 189.

RETURNEES: Billy Combs, Sr., 135-40; Stephen Pritz, Jr., 145; Charley Combs, Jr., 152-60, Windham Rotunda, So., Hwt.; Earnest Ellis, So., 112-19, Addison Chipoletti, So.; 171-89; Jack Duvall, Jr., 171-89; Thomas Lyle, Sr., 189-215; Logan Emerson, Jr., 125-30; Eric Neal, So., 171-89; Jimmy Paynter, Jr., 119-25; Anthony Roberts, So., 112-19; Travis Schneider, So., 135; Steven Wilkins, Sr., 152-60; Brae White, Jr., 215; Dexter Cummings, So., Hwt.

NEWCOMERS: David Pritz, Fr. 140; Michael Combs, Fr., 140-45; Kenny Anderson, Fr., Hwt.; Chris Dipasipil, Jr., 125-30; Tommy Gaulin, Fr., 125; Chris Munson, Fr., 160-89; Lee Pielmetto, So., 160-71; John Parrish, So., 140-45; Thomas Stewart, So., 160-71; Cameron Wittman, So., 215; Michael Harvey, Fr., 145-60; Mark Donato, Fr., 171-89; Justin Davis, So., 119-25; Charles Graham, Fr.; Stephen Henderson, 130-35; Justin Cochran, Fr., 145-52; Timothy Brunn, Fr., Hwt.

OUTLOOK: The Leopards lost Woods, who placed fifth in the state at 130 last season, but return two-time state qualifier Billy Combs (135) and 2001 state qualifier Stephen Pritz (140). White sustained a broken rib, punctured lung and road rash in a Nov. 8 car accident and will miss at least the beginning of the season. Hernando started in neutral, as it waited for many of its wrestlers to return from football, cross country or swimming. The Leopards are deep in the middleweights, but seek a 103- and 112-pounder.

SPRINGSTEAD

COACH: Roy Reyes.

LAST YEAR: 19th in Class 2A Florida Finals.

KEY LOSSES: Matt Booker, 145 pounds; Steve Garofano, 152; Tommy Walker, 112; David Kachiroubas, 130.

KEY RETURNEES: Fabien Lewars, Sr., 119; Nate Booker, Jr., 171; Corey Daly, Jr., 103-12; Steve Bartke, 145-52; Tim Heal, Sr., 112-19.

KEY NEWCOMERS: Justin Starace, So., 112-19; Jason Booker, Fr., 119-25; Joe Merando, So., 130-40; Xavier Rivera, Jr., 140-45.

OUTLOOK: This will be a rebuilding year for Springstead, which lost Matt Booker (third in the state at 145) and Garofano (district runner-up at 152) to graduation and could be without Walker (district champion at 112), who is considering not wrestling. Bartke (breastbone) and Heal (shoulder) will miss the beginning of the schedule with injuries. Lewars, a state qualifier at 119, and Nate Booker, a district champ at 171, lead an otherwise inexperienced group. Reyes will emphasize fundamentals in his first season in place of Bob Levija, who stepped down after 23 years.

DISTRICT ALIGNMENT CLASS 2A-6

Central, Land O'Lakes, Mitchell, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Springstead.

CLASS A-5

Citrus, Crystal River, Dunnellon, Hernando, Lecanto, Citra North Marion, Ocala West Port.

Compiled by Frank Pastor.

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