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Close calls, but no surprises

Brandon has some tough matches, but puts 13 wrestlers into the second round of the winners' bracket.

Published February 27, 2004

LAKELAND - There were some first-day scares, but some of Hillsborough County's best remain in the running for championships. Brandon moved 13 starters into the second round of the winners bracket, scheduled for 10 a.m. today. However, there were a couple of close matches.

Defending state champion Ryan Joyce finished regulation time of his 135-pound match at 2-2 and went into overtime against Dondre Jenkins of Fort Lauderdale Dillard.

With a quick attack and in less than 20 seconds, Jenkins seemed to be carrying Joyce to his back, when the Eagle came up with what seemed to be super strength.

While going down, Joyce out-muscled his opponent taking Jenkins to his back for a pin at six minutes, 23 seconds.

"So far everybody is doing well, but there is a lot of wrestling to do yet," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said. "We are real proud of our 103-pounder Kenny Keller. He lost a close 3-1 match to the kid from Countryside (Kent Costell) who pinned him in the first period of the Graves duals, then came back in the wrestlebacks to pin his guy in the first period. We finished the first day with 46 points and everybody still active."

Jesuit's top two wrestlers, two-time state champion Alex Enriquez (152) and Alex Virgadamo (189), both won their first matches and will compete in the quarters.

Virgadamo scored a pin in the first round.

From 160 pounds through heavyweight, Brandon recorded impressive wins.

Defending state champ David Craig (171), Jarred Thompson (189) and Keith Simmons (275) scored pins.

State champs Rocky Cozart (160) and Rashard Goff (215) scored technical falls of 15 points or more differential.

Tommy Hutchinson also scored a pin for the Eagles at 145 pounds.

"Our team is doing well so far, but the quarterfinals and semis are (today)," Goff said. "We all have some very tough competitors in both rounds. "

Durant has only Tim Burdine (103) and Matt Caraballo (119) remaining in the winners bracket from the seven it brought to state.

"We have wrestled a little below average so far," Durant coach Dennis Kitko said. "It has been a real shock for some to see the magnitude of the state tournament. They need to get comfortable and wrestle the way they have all season and they will do all right. Burdine and Caraballo can make it to the finals, but they will have to wrestle 95 percent of perfection Saturday."

[Last modified February 27, 2004, 01:31:31]


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