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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
BRANDON - County wrestling success has been widespread this season. Several teams have gained skill and intensity as proved by the results of last weekend's tournaments.
Three area teams - Brandon, Chamberlain and Durant - won tournaments in other counties, and in one big contest, county teams came away with a sweep.
Brandon won the Astronaut Invitational Duals on the East Coast, Durant won the Gainesville Duals, and Chamberlain, Jesuit and Robinson finished in that order in the Masada Invitational in Spring Hill.
EAGLES FLY HIGH: Brandon went 5-0 in its dual meet in Titusville. Only Astronaut provided much of a challenge to the Eagles. With injuries and uncertainty in its upper-weight lineup (from 189-275 pounds), Brandon yielded those weight classes plus 112 to Astronaut. But a 60-23 win still is healthy against a decent opponent.
In their other matches, the Eagles defeated Space Coast and West Orange (Orlando) 84-0 (maximum points), Stanton Prep 71-0 and Sebastian River 53-14.
Ken Keller (112), Franklin Gomez (119), Alex Arroz (125), Sean Joyce (130), Cesar Grajales (135), Marco Toledo (145), Tommy Timothy (152), Rocky Cozart (160) and David Craig (171) recorded 5-0 individual records in the tournament.
COUGARS ROLL: Durant went 4-1 in the Gainesville Duals, losing only to Sickles, 36-34. Sickles coach Terry Brockland picked up win No. 100. The Gryphons went 3-2 with wins over Orange Park (42-28) and Fort Myers (42-30).
Durant beat Orange Park 57-13, Gainesville 32-29, Fort Myers 54-17 and Tallahassee Lincoln 47-21.
Tommy Bennett (102), Tim Burdine (130), Adam Doback (135), and Jim Kauderman (189) took individual honors for the Cougars. Second place went to Tracy Tibbits (119), Jeff Corns (152) and Chip Bowden (215), and Justin Becktold (112) and Josh Fewox (145) took third.
"We not only had a good workout for our varsity, but I allowed most of our JV wrestlers to have a varsity match also," Durant coach Dennis Kitko said. "We will begin to taper off some in the next three weeks to save some energy for districts and the state run."
Chris Cobos took top individual honors for Sickles at 189 pounds. James Bolnack (112), Chris Coffee (130) and David Casper (140) placed second, and Westley Hegge (119) took third.
CHIEFS GETTING BETTER: Over the years, Chamberlain worked hard to win the Masada Invitational, but with Springstead and other top teams in the mix, the Chiefs settled for top six.
But not this year.
The Chiefs won with 171 points, followed by Jesuit (162) and Robinson (121).
As usual, Chamberlain's middleweights carried the bulk of the load and scored most of the team points.
Beefing up the Chiefs middle were Ian Garland (130), Ricardo Topham (135), Mike White (140) and Patrick Spano (145). Lower weight Alberto Santiago (125) and heavyweight Jose Fernandez (275) also placed high to help the team score.
"I was very pleased with the performance of my guys last weekend," Chamberlain coach Jeff Duncan said. "It was a tough tournament but they wrestled well. Jesuit and Robinson did well, too, making our county look good."
Partick Scicchitano, Jesuit's heavyweight, was the Tigers' only individual champion. He is 24-2 this season and a contender for the Class A championship. Kurt Spranger (112), Doug Holder (119) and Clay Dutton (215) placed second for Jesuit. Andrew Jimenez (160) and Craig Spranger (125) took third, and Matt Lynn (152) finished fourth.