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Springstead barely defends Dr. Batista title

By CAREY FREEMAN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 13, 2002


SPRING HILL -- There are only a handful of teams in Florida that can relegate Springstead to underdog status.

SPRING HILL -- There are only a handful of teams in Florida that can relegate Springstead to underdog status.

Homestead South Dade -- winner of the past three Class 3A state titles -- is one of them. Favorites or not, the Eagles defended their home turf like champions at Saturday's Dr. Batista Invitational, edging the six-time champion Buccaneers by three points for their sixth consecutive championship.

Berkeley Prep finished last in the 18-team field with a total of 19.5 points, 31.5 points behind 17th-place Lecanto.

The Buccaneers had no wrestlers finish among the top four and had only one advance past the first round.

Springstead placed six wrestlers in the finals -- two more than South Dade -- and captured three championships for a total of 193 points. South Dade, which had two champions, scored 190 points. River Ridge (141.5), Crystal River (126) and Land O'Lakes (116.5) rounded out the top five in team scoring.

The Eagles clinched the title when Matt Booker scored a 9-1 major decision against Central's Sergio Matos at 140 pounds.

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