ST. PETERSBURG - St. Petersburg won its fifth straight St. Petersburg City Championship on Saturday.
The Green Devils dominated the tournament hosted by Northeast. They had five champions and finished in the top three in ten weight classes.
Mike Taylor (119), Shawn Brownell (125), Jerrod Douse (130), Evanc Rajta (145) and Francis Tearney (152) won their classes. Morgan Baker (135) was seconds from making it six champions, but Admiral Farragut's Jason Silveus executed an escape late in the third period for a 6-5 decision.
St. Petersburg would have made winning a family affair had it not been for tournament MVP Minio Torres. Torres (140), a Dixie Hollins senior, ended the first-place aspirations of the Green Devils' James Douse with a second-period pin. Pat Heister (112) and Arturo Viera (160) combined with Baker and James Douse to give St. Petersburg second-place finishes.
The Green Devils' tournament-high 196 points were the product of hard work.
"I think we were better prepared than probably all the teams here," St. Petersburg coach Sam Pruitt said. "We had some tough training over the two-week Christmas break. I think that is where we got our edge."
Dixie Hollins (162.5), St. Petersburg Catholic (139) and Northeast (110) rounded out the top four.
Gibbs, which frequently has struggled, was the surprise of the tournament. The Gladiators had three wrestlers finish third and the team was fifth.
"We are on our way," coach Javan Turner said. "This is a good strong start here and as time goes on (we'll keep) getting and better and getting more people in the program."