St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Brandon is on top again

Three individual champs enable Eagles to continue their reign.

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 24, 2002

LAKELAND -- Brandon won its 13th title, turning back St. Thomas Aquinas 128-112 on Saturday in the Class 2A finals.

Brandon entered the day with an eight-point lead and stretched it to 124-107 after two wins.

Though St. Thomas won its first two individual matches, the Eagles put the tournament in the record book after the Raiders lost their third match.

Brandon's Matt Juncal ended St. Thomas' hopes, defeating previously unbeaten 171-pounder Oscar Rodriquez. The Eagles, sparked by three individual champs in continuing their title reign, were booed by the fans. "I am proud of my state championship team," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said.

"This was a close tournament and winners aren't always popular when winning a lot," he said. "But that is part of the sport. It just makes my guys tougher."

Juncal and Plant City's Cornelius Wiggins (130 in Class 3A) each won their second title. Sickles junior Jegan Gabbidon became the Gryphons' first champion, winning in Class 2A at 130. Freshmen Cesar Grajales (103) and Khalid Andwele (112) were the other Brandon title winners. Grajales scored a 12-2 major decision over Obe Blanc of Naples Lely.

"I had to figure out how to tie up in the first period, but once I put him down on his back with the fireman, I knew I was in control," Grajales said.

"Our team has worked so hard for this. I am happy for my whole team."

Andwele defeated Sickles junior Stan Liberatore with an 11-5 decision.

"He just didn't quit and even went harder than me in the third period," Andwele said. "Stan is a tough wrestler."

Sickles' Gabbidon posted a 12-2 major decision over Josh DaVilla of Haines City. "Once I put him on his back the first time, I realized I was in control," Gabbidon said.

"Next week, I start training to defend my title," he said. "My team only lost two seniors this year, so we will all work hard in the offseason to do better next year."

Other place-winners from Hillsborough County were Bloomingdale's Robert Hagin (second in Class 3A at 112), Gabe Bartolomei (sixth, 145) and Derek Saibi (sixth, 275); Brandon's Rocky Cozart (second at 140) and Alejandro Figueroa (119) and Tommy Hutchinson (135), both fifth; Plant City's John Simpkins (sixth at 103); and Temple Heights' David Craig (140), Chris Rexroat (130) and Sean Joyce (103), all third.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

  • Growing up Gruden

  • Olympics
  • Brooks' words key U.S. run
  • A bad day? Blame Ohno
  • North American rivalry to grow, Gretzky says
  • Bettman attempts to quash talk of revenge
  • Bronze is bittersweet for Lightning goalie
  • Miller: No medal and no regrets
  • U.S. medals in 500, finishes 4th in relay
  • U.S. athletes give sites a personal feel
  • IIHF supports officiating in U.S.-Russia game
  • Americans end 46-year drought

  • Devil Rays/Spring Training
  • Rays' Kennedy 'on a mission'
  • Alderson presses for more profit sharing among teams
  • Wells feels good on the mound
  • McRae ready for righty-lefty games
  • Dome occupied; it's back inside

  • College basketball
  • In one second, Tide turns against Gators
  • NCAAs keep slipping away
  • Clemson bids to climb out of basement

  • Lightning
  • 4 years later, Lightning player observes from afar
  • Grit, goals on agenda

  • Colleges
  • FSU trio teams up for two-hitter

  • Letters
  • The hiring of Gruden gets mixed reviews

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Preps
  • CCC, PHU celebrate state titles
  • Bounces go against Marauders
  • Marauders claim championship
  • Palm Harbor University takes title
  • Bishop Moore wins battle
  • Zephyrhills' Hand captures a title
  • Brandon is on top again
  • Lake Gibson finally a champion
  • Clearwater's record run moving to state
  • Countryside pair get lift in finals

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts