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Jesuit holds breath, then gets to celebrate

CLASS A: The math had to be checked, then rechecked, but indeed, the Tigers are champs.

By SCOTT PURKS, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2003

After two days of nearly non-stop wrestling at at South Florida Community College in Avon Park, it still came down to the final few matches.

Jesuit coach Brett McGill was squirming a bit because he needed a pin by Garrison Sanborn at 189 pounds and several other things to fall into place for the victory.

McGill got everything he needed.

When it was said and done -- after checking and double-checking the points -- Jesuit had pulled out a 154-153 victory over host Sebring.

"It was a great reward after all the hard work," McGill said. "It's a great way to head into the state tournament."

Jesuit will take five wrestlers to state, which is a compliment to the Tigers' overall effort, considering Sebring advanced seven wrestlers.

"All of our guys wrestled hard," McGill said. "We've just gotten a lot better as the year went on. We wrestled a really tough schedule and though we seemed to struggle at times during the regular season it made us stronger.

"We couldn't be happier with the way everything has turned out."

The Tigers' regional individual winners were Alex Enriquez (135 pounds) and Sanborn at 189. Joe Aramini (130) and Alex Virgadamo (171) advanced with runner-up finishes and Addison Nelson (119) also qualified by placing fourth.

Osceola, which was in second place after the first day, finished fourth with 112 1/2 points and qualified four wrestlers for state.

"We were second, third or fourth as a team throughout the tournament and if some things would have gone differently in a few matches, who knows, we might have had a shot (at winning regionals)," Osceola coach Ron Spataro said.

Osceola's top finisher was Josh Langdon, who placed second after a hard-fought 3-1 loss to one of the state's top wrestlers at 152 pounds, Jeff Baker of Bradenton Southeast.

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