RIVERVIEW — In the first test of the season for nearly a dozen Hillsborough County wrestling teams, host Riverview placed third in the Sharks' 10-way duals by winning seven of nine rounds. Brandon was the top team at 9-0 and Steinbrenner took second at 8-1.
"We had a real good preseason and a real good conditioning camp," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "I saw some good stuff. We've got the Graves (a tournament Brandon hosts to honor its late coach) next week and that's tough, so we've got to be ready for that."
The Eagles, winners of 15 straight state titles and 27 overall, won Saturday's tourney on the strength of 10 unbeaten wrestlers: defending state champion Trey Lane, 113 pounds; Andreus Bond, 120, third at state last season; Broc Spurling, 138; 2016 state runnerup Noah Ridley, 145; Elier Cruz, 152; Brett Estep, 160; Tyrique Jordan, 170; Austin Deffenbaugh, 182; Alex Popke, 195; and Josh Santana, 220.
Preventing another Brandon wrestler from going unbeaten was Riverview's Tyler Forrest, whose 9-0 mark in the duals included a defeat of Alejandro Davis at 106.
"I'm good on my weight and I felt confident," said Forrest, a sophomore who last season advanced to regionals as a district runnerup. "I knew I would have one or two tough matches."
"Very solid," is how Riverview coach William Sargable described Forrest. "He put in the work in the offseason and right now he's reaping the benefits of all that hard work and dedication."
The Sharks are coming off their first district title and Sargable said that achievement, as well as hosting Saturday's tourney "just helps maintain our momentum."
Steinbrenner coach Paul Noble downplayed his team's second-place finish. "We looked okay. We're not lighting it on fire, but we looked pretty good."
Michaelangelo Furnari, at 138, was the lone Steinbrenner wrestler to win all of his matches. Three teammates posting 8-1 records were: Anthony Vitale, 113; Mitchell Carlson, 132; Matt Gallo, 160; and Nate Bautista, heavyweight.
Noble's son, Truman, went 7-1 at 126 with freshman Jason Moran, another freshman, going 7-2 at 106. Moran's brother, Justin, a junior, went 6-2 at 120.