Prep wrestling | Palmetto wins first Christmas Clash with 5-0 record

Palmetto perfect on way to inaugural tournament title

jlembo@bradenton.comDecember 16, 2012 

— Saturday marked the first Palmetto High Christmas Clash.

Tigers coach Bryan Wilkes said it will probably become a holiday tradition.

Considering how well things went for the hosts during the inaugural one, you can't blame him.

The Tigers went 5-0 to win the eight-team tournament and had four wrestlers secure perfect records as Palmetto ran its record to 12-1.

"It's always nice when you can win all your matches," Wilkes said. "No one really had tournaments this weekend. So I said, 'Let's go ahead and throw this in there and see who bites.' And we had seven other teams call us and say, 'Yeah, we'll do it.'"

The field included locals Lakewood Ranch and Southeast, as well as Booker, Sarasota and Sarasota Riverview. Crystal River and Sebring rounded out the field.

But the Tigers reigned supreme thanks in part to the work of Tyler Montague (113 pounds), Anthony Viscomi (126), Tyler Williford (160) and Robert McLachlan (195), all of whom went 5-0.

Palmetto also beat Sarasota for the first time in team history.

"By far, it is the best team we're putting on the mat," Wilkes said. "Right now, we're happy. We've got to keep working toward that ultimate goal of getting guys to state and beating the teams we haven't beat.

"It gives the guys goals."

The Tigers don't wrestle again until the Southeast Duals, scheduled for Jan. 4 and 5.

"Next week, we're going to basically retool," Wilkes said. "We're excited. We've never had this, where we can go into a tournament and actually expect to win."

Lakewood Ranch went 3-2 on the day and had one undefeated wrestler: Tyler McLeod at 160.

"We are so young," said Mustangs coach Pat Ancil, who started nine freshmen Saturday. "The kids are great, and the exciting thing is they're very positive, they're good athletes and they learn quickly."

Ancil said he brought 40 kids to Saturday's tournament, where the Mustangs improved to 12-8.

"Every one of our kids got matches," he said, "JV as well as varsity."

The Mustangs host their own dual tournament Jan. 5.

Southeast was without two of its top wrestlers, Gage Takacs and Ricky Almodovar, on Saturday. Both are injured, and coach Daniel Bradshaw hopes to have them back after Christmas.

The Seminoles went 1-4 on Saturday and are 4-7 on the season.

"We had some young kids who ended up having to wrestle and contributed," Bradshaw said. "So they got some good mat time (Saturday)."

Logan Beagle (152) and Michael Quintero (heavyweight) each went 4-1 for Southeast.

"We've got about seven or eight guys back from last year, and the other half of the team is new," Bradshaw said. "So any experience they can get is good. Obviously, we'd like to come out ahead in the team score. But in the long run, it's just mat time, it's just getting experience and learning as they go."

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