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State champions lift Eagles to victories

Published January 11, 2004

BRANDON - State champions were numerous at the second Jim Graves Beat The Streak Tournament.

Class 2A champion Brandon and Class A champion Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons competed as well as nine individual champions. Jesuit's Alex Enriquez (152), Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas' Jeff Wimberly (119) and Cardinal Gibbons' Jorge Badia (119) went undefeated. Enriquez won his first match then sat out the rest of the tournament because of a back injury.

But it was the Eagles' six champs who made the difference.

Cesar Grajales (125), Ryan Joyce (130), Rocky Cozart (160), David Craig (171) and Rashard Goff (215) went 4-0 and Sean Joyce (112) went 3-1 with only a 1-0 loss against Venice.

Grajales, a two-time state champion, recorded four pins.

"My first thought was to help my team by scoring a lot of points and keeping the streak going," Grajales said. "Many of these guys we will meet in the state tournament."

Cozart and Craig also recorded four pins.

"Since I was just a little kid, I have wanted to be part of Brandon wrestling, and keeping the streak alive is now my responsibility, too," Craig said. "The competition was tough, but it was fun."

"The competition improved with each dual match," Cozart said. "We got to see some of the guys we will wrestle at the state tournament this year. I still have a lot of work to be ready for that."

Goff and Ryan Joyce, both seniors, had a couple of tough matches but went undefeated.

"Most opponents have wrestled me defensively this year," Joyce said. "But in this tournament, a couple came at me strong."

"I have discovered I need a lot of work before the state meet," Goff said.

"It is one thing to win a state championship, but another all together to keep it. That takes a lot of hard work."

[Last modified January 11, 2004, 01:33:09]

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