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Bucs' Tough Team win doesn't come easy

Pasco beat Gulf and Land O'Lakes beat Pasco and Gulf beat Land O'Lakes and ...

So it went in Saturday's Dr. McBath Tough Team tournament hosted by defending champion Pasco, which also won district and Sunshine Athletic Conference titles last season. This time, the Pirates (268 points) were runnerups in a hotly contested battle that separated the top three teams by eight points. Gulf (273) won; Land O'Lakes (265) was third.

The top three each went 4-1 in a six-team tournament that included Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch and Nature Coast. The Bucs won out on total points.

"I thought Gulf was the team to beat and I thought Land O'Lakes was the team to beat," Pasco coach Mark DeAugustino said. "And they thought I had the team to beat. "There's just tough wrestling here in Pasco County."

Gulf also came out on top individually with 130-pound champion Mike Calafiore named the top wrestler.

Gulf coach Travis DeWalt described his team's victory as "bittersweet. I wanted to get a shot at the conference title-holders and we lost (to Pasco). That was the one match I wanted to win."

DeWalt allowed his athletes one day to celebrate, then at Monday's practice told them to forget about the past.

The focus at this week's practice is on Saturday's East Lake Invitational that DeWalt said will challenge his team for the second straight season. Especially since it includes state champion Brandon and final four teams Cape Coral and Miami Southridge.

Five county teams will be in Land O'Lakes on Saturday for the Swamp Challenge, including Hudson, Pasco, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills.

Contact Steve Lee at or (352) 521-6517.


Dr. McBath Tough Team Tournament

Gulf won Saturday's tournament at Pasco with 273 points, just ahead of runnerup Pasco (268) and third-place Land O'Lakes (265). The Bucs also earned the top individual prize when 130-pounder Mike Calafiore was named the most outstanding wrestler. The division champions were:

Weight Name School

103 Justin McKay Land O'Lakes

112 Brandon Meutzal Gulf

119 Matt Penix Pasco

125 Jordan Holding Gulf

130 Mike Calafiore Gulf

135 Jacob Hinkle Pasco

140 Josh Kweller Land O'Lakes

145 Brian Rushing Land O'Lakes

152 Matt Oliver Gulf

160 Alfredo Lindo Nature Coast

171 Chris Whittington Land O'Lakes

189 Martin Levinson Gulf

215 Aaron Blevins Land O'Lakes

HW Eric Stroud Pasco