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Springstead pulls off a near sweep in opener

Defending district champion and region runnerup Springstead kicked off its season with a home dual meet with county rival Nature Coast on Wednesday night.

The Eagles had no trouble with the Sharks, outscoring the upstart program 74-6.

Nature Coast, after taking fifth place last weekend in the Dr. McBath Tough Team Tournament at Pasco, was severely undermanned. But the Sharks did fare better than last season's record 81-0 defeat.

"We're progressing as a program," Nature Coast coach Mike Lastra said. "We made a lot of silly mistakes tonight, but November is the time to work those out."

The Eagles won all but two of the 14 weight-class matches, highlighted by a season-opening pin for state title hopeful Schuyler Swanton. The 103-pounder pinned freshman Anthony Fuzz in 39 seconds.

After becoming the first All-American in the program's history, finishing second in the state in his weight class and going 46-5 in 2005-06, Swanton sees his win as the perfect way to kick off the new season.

"A performance like this is all about building confidence," Swanton said. "It's important to keep good position and work on your moves early."

Springstead's Mike Heagney is coming off a season where he went 43-10 and finished sixth in the state at 189 pounds.

He did not make weight for the season opener but is expected to be ready for this weekend's Cougar Invitational at Durant.