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Cougars, Eagles set standard

CLASS 2A, DISTRICT 9: Countryside defeats East Lake for another district title, but both teams send 14 to region tournament.

By BOB PUTNAM, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 16, 2003

EAST LAKE -- There were six teams at the district tournament.

The competition for the title, though, was reduced to two.

So dominant were Countryside and host East Lake, the rivals had a combined 23 wrestlers in the finals and were the only teams to score more than 100 points.

"It was almost like having a dual meet against (East Lake)," Cougars coach Dave Frayer said.

Countryside ended up with the better result, scoring 247 1/2 points to win its third straight title and 20th in the past 21 seasons.

The Cougars had all 14 of their wrestlers advance to the region tournament which they are hosting next week. Better still, Countryside had 13 in the finals, including nine who won.

Cruising through the lowerweights, the Cougars won nine of the first 10 bouts in almost every conceivable way.

Vince Scholl (112 pounds), A. Jay Hixon (119) and Garry Dodds (160) won by pin; Matt Turtzo (140) and Sean Murphy (152) won by technical fall; Dominic DeNunzio (130), Steve Spicuzza (135) and Wesley Walker (145) won by major decision; Mike Flood (125) won by decision.

The only setback Countryside had in the first 10 weight classes came at 103, where Mike Kennedy forfeited for precautionary measures after wrestling two other bouts with a 104-degree temperature and complaining of headaches.

The Eagles, who scored 193 points, also had 14 wrestlers advance to the region tournament. Of the 10 who made it to the finals, four won -- Jimmy Myers (171), Mark Peluso (189), Mike Perenich (215) and Bobby Hayes (275).

"We knew we were going have to battle Countryside for the title," East Lake coach Chris Waite said. "I thought our guys wrestled well and it's nice to get each of them to regions."

Dunedin's Josh Hyman (103) was the other district winner.

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