Wrestling | Palmetto finishes second again; Southeast takes first district crown since 1993

Southeast collects first title since '93;Canes finish 2nd

jdill@bradenton.comFebruary 2, 2014 

EAST MANATEE -- Taking second place at the district tournament is becoming a familiar trend for the Palmetto wrestling team.

On Saturday, the Tigers became a bridesmaid for the sixth time in the program's nine-year history.

Palmetto garnered 167½ points to finish just behind Venice (169 points) in the Class 2A-District 10 tournament held at Braden River.

"You have to look at who has beat us," Palmetto head coach Bryan Wilkes said. "Riverdale, Charlotte, Venice. They are all state-ranked teams. So we're going to get it. It's disappointing for the team to come that close."

But despite nearly taking the program's first wrestling district team championship, it wasn't a complete disappointment as there are positives to take away from Saturday's action for Wilkes' bunch.

One of those positives is that 10 of the 11 wrestlers Palmetto brought to the district tournament are progressing to next week's region at Punta Gorda Charlotte, which begins Friday and concludes Saturday.

"Finishing six times as a runner-up out of a nine-year history, there's very few schools that can say that ...," Wilkes said. "A lot of teams would love to be in our situation."

The top four wrestlers in each weight class earned region tournament berths. Among the Palmetto grapplers who advanced are district champions Leonel Barboza (152 pounds) and Robert McLachlan (195 pounds).

The Tigers entered the finals clinging to a 2½-point lead over Venice. However, Wilkes said they weren't confident as they've been in that situation before, though they hoped to hang on.

"We knew they were coming," Wilkes said. "Venice is a very good team. They probably have two or three dual meet losses all year. They've won three tournaments. They are very good. ... We've got regionals and we can beat them next week. And really, that's the one that really counts."

Lakewood Ranch and tournament host Braden River rounded out the local squads competing in the seven-team district tournament.

The Mustangs snagged fourth place with 123 points and have nine wrestlers advancing to the regional meet among their 12 participants Saturday.

"The most since I've been with Lakewood Ranch; the most we've ever gotten on to the regions is eight," Mustangs head coach Pat Ancil said. "And that was from a senior-laden team. I had 11 seniors on that team."

Freshman Hunter Reed (106 pounds) and sophomore Dylan Cameron (120 pounds) captured district championships for Ranch.

Braden River finished in seventh place with 17 points. Sebring (third), Sarasota (fifth) and Ruskin Lennard (sixth) were the other participants.

CLASS 3A-DISTRICT 8 -- Manatee earned six individual district championships on its way to second place at Plant City Durant.

Caleb Rudisill (113 pounds), Tyrek Hoyte (126), Alex Ginn (145), Dakoda Dossey (152), Jesse Fulk (160) and Johnny Baldwin (170) won titles for the Hurricanes, who scored 189 points, 16 behind champion North Port.

Marshall Craig (106, second), Colton Deiser (heavyweight, third), Timothy Dinsdale (132, fourth), Ryan Sobr (138, fourth) and Emilio Gonzalez (195) also advanced to next week's region at Kissimmee Osceola.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 10 -- Southeast claimed its first district title since 1993 on the backs of five individual champions: Joey Fazio (132 pounds), Rick Almodovar (160), Stephen Kelle (170), Gage Takacs (220) and Kane Takacs (heavyweight).

The Seminoles scored 174 points, 44 more than second place Tampa Prep, the tournament host. Larenz Green (138) and Austin Bennett (154) came in second for Southeast.

Wrestlers who placed in the top four advanced to next week's region meet at Tampa Berkeley Prep.

CLASS 1A-DISTRICT 11 -- Bayshore advanced three wrestlers to region, including champions Anthony Slack (113 pounds) and Petro Marin (182), at Dunedin.

The Bruins finished fifth in the team standings behind champion Dunedin. Nick Norton finished second in the 160-pound weight class and advanced to next week's region at Tampa Berkeley Prep.

Bradenton Christian's Tyler Lyke (220) also earned a trip to the region with a third-place finish.

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