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Eagles streak reaches 401

Saturday afternoon, Kenny and Kyle Keller earned a spot in Brandon and national high school wrestling history with a pair of pins against Chamberlain competitors.

At 50 seconds into his bout at 103 pounds with William Greening, senior Kenny scored a pin, which put Brandon out front 37-12 during a semifinal match at Brandon's tournament. That meant the Chiefs would have to pin five Eagles in consecutive bouts to win.

Then 50 seconds into his 112-pound match with Roberto Rodriquez, sophomore Kyle scored a pin, which put the match out of reach and gave Brandon its 400th consecutive dual meet victory, another milestone in Brandon wrestling history.

All matches in the Jim Graves Beat The Streak Tournament started at 140 pounds and went up, then ended with lower weights.

Brandon beat Chamberlain 53-12, then defeated Ft. Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons 55-16 to win the tournament title.

Chamberlain coach Jeff Duncan wanted his wrestlers to win more bouts, but recognized some intimidation to challenging the Brandon mystique.

"We were definitely intimidated somewhat and I hope I don't get used to being victimized," Duncan said smiling. "We were the victims with Brandon's 350th win, (former East Bay coach) Tom Lota's last match and (then-Tampa Catholic coach) Glenn Goodman's 100th win as a coach. I really don't want to be part of any more history from the victim side. We have a dual with Brandon next week and should do better. Overall my guys did well in this tournament and I am proud of them."

Chamberlain finished fifth among 15 teams. The Chiefs beat Ft. Lauderdale Douglas 48-32 in the consolations.

Brandon junior David Craig won all four of his matches. He finished off his final foe in 22 seconds in the title match. Franklin Gomez also went 4-0.

"Some of our guys who worked hard just to make the lineup, worked extra hard in this tournament," Gomez said. "They really wrestled great and I am proud of all the guys."

Jim Graves, the man for whom the event is named, sat back and enjoyed the matches. He coached the Eagles to their first 75 consecutive wins, before turning the reigns over to Russ Cozart in 1980.

"I come to see good competition in this tournament," Graves said. "Russ does a good job keeping my name alive, but what he has done is unbelievable, if you stop and think about it. Since he took the job, he hasn't lost a dual match in 24 years. He won 325 of the 400, plus 14 state championships. The man works hard with his teams. He is really unbelievable."

Brandon's streak at a glance

Brandon's wrestling team extended its dual-meet winning streak to 400 Saturday in the semifinals of the "Beat the Streak" tournament (then made it 401 by winning the final). A look at the milestone matches in the streak:

1972-73: Defeated Dixie Hollins 42-10 for win No. 1

1982-83: Defeated Chamberlain 29-27 for win No. 100

1989-90: Defeated Leto 66-6 for win No. 200

1997-98: Defeated Leto 84-0 for win No. 300

2001-02: Defeated Chamberlain 60-9 for win No. 350

2004-05: Defeated Chamberlain 53-12 for win No. 400

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