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Springstead 3rd behind Brandon

By TERRY JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 17, 2002


BRANDON -- After two days of grueling competition, all 28 teams in the tournament dropped good wrestlers to better competitors.

BRANDON -- After two days of grueling competition, all 28 teams in the tournament dropped good wrestlers to better competitors.

Some might try again next year, but others finished their prep careers.

Brandon won the tournament with 219.5 points and six champions. The Eagles will take nine to the state tournament next week in Lakeland.

Six Eagles fell by the wayside, including team captain Brian Howsare.

Brandon's defending state champion, junior Matt Juncal, came close to losing his first match of the season, but pulled out a close 2-1 decision against previously undefeated Antoine Coleman of New Symrna Beach.

"He was the toughest kid I have ever wrestled," Juncal said of Coleman. "He caught me by surprise and kept me on the defense most of the match. I will be more prepared if we meet at state and I will open it up more and get some offense. Next week will be tough each second. There are no easy matches at the state meet."

New Symrna Beach was second with 106 points, followed by Springstead with 92. Sickles finished fourth with 90.5 points and Jegan Gabbidon won a title at 130 pounds.

Durant finished seventh with 86.5, Armwood was 15th with 45 points as Luis Dick won the 275-pound title.

Brandon's defending state champion, junior Matt Juncal, came close to losing his first match of the season, but pulled out a close 2-1 decision against previously undefeated Antoine Coleman of New Symrna Beach.

In addition to Juncal, Brandon champions included Cesar Grajales (103), Khalid Andwele (112), Ryan Joyce (125), Tommy Hutchinson (135) and Rocky Cozart (140).

One of the big Hillsborough County surprises came from Plant junior Skip Pask.

At 103 pounds, he pulled off some big upsets to make it to the finals and placed second to Brandon's Grajales.

Brandon sophomore Jared Thompson also pulled off some big upsets to make it to the finals at 145, where he finished second.

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