Springstead in fine shape for postseason
By DEREK LaRIVIERE
Published January 27, 2006
Heading into this weekend's duals tournament at The Villages and with the postseason on the horizon, Springstead is encouraged by its performance at last weekend's Ippolito Memorial Tournament at Brandon.
Against some of the stiffest programs Springstead has faced all year, the Eagles placed three grapplers in the top three. Heavyweight Andy Leavine led the team with a second-place finish while Seth Metz (160) and Schuyler Swanton (103) placed third.
"Most of the top teams in our region were (at Ippolito)," coach Eric Swensen said, "and we were able to hang with almost every program with the exception of Brandon."
Brandon won its tournament for the third year in a row this past weekend (321 points). Springstead was tied for the third in the overall standings but ended up in fifth because of some penalties assessed during the meet.
First, some of the Eagles were penalized for a rarely-called "coach standing up" deduction. Another small but costly deduction came when Walter Acosta tossed his headgear after a match.
"(Acosta's incident) is something we've taken care of," Swensen said. "I am just really proud of the way we competed."
All in all, Springstead's performance has it looking optimistically toward the playoffs.
"(The outlook) is fantastic," Swensen said. "After this, we know that placing at states is a goal that's within reach."
NATURE COAST TECH: This past weekend at the Lakeland Duals Tournament, Nature Coast Tech and coach Mike Lastra continued to make strides toward program respectability.
Led by 112-pound freshman Taequan Griffin, the excitement running through the Sharks program is potent.
"(Griffin's) really become one of the top guys on the team," Lastra said. "He's learned so much from the beginning of the season to now, and you're really starting to see the results."
After a so-so first half, Griffin is 10-2 since the holiday break, including a 4-1 mark at a Lakeland event where the Sharks met up with some of the top teams in the southern part of the state.
Senior leader Tony Grossi also went 4-1, but he was more impressed by what he saw from his teammate.
"Taequan's going to be a state contender in the next couple of years," Grossi said.
"He's become so good in such a short period that it will be exciting to see him as a senior."
WAKULLA BANK TOURNAMENT
WHERE: Wakulla High School, Crawfordville.
SCHEDULE: Saturday - Weigh-ins, 7:30 a.m.; first round, 10.
TEAMS: Hernando, Crawfordville-Wakulla, Lynn Haven-Mosley, Santa Rosa Beach-South Walton, Niceville, Tallahassee-Godby, Panama City Beach-Arnold, Springfield-Rutherford, Tallahassee-Rickards, Gulf Breeze, Suwanee, Cantonment-Tate, Pensacola Christian and Tallahassee-Leon.
2005 CHAMPION: Suwanee.
[Last modified January 27, 2006, 01:21:16]
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