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Bucs' Tough Team win doesn't come easy

By STEVE LEE
Published November 28, 2006


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DADE CITY - Pasco beat Gulf and Land O'Lakes beat Pasco and Gulf beat Land O'Lakes and ...

So it went in Saturday's Dr. McBath Tough Team tournament hosted by defending champion Pasco, which also won district and Sunshine Athletic Conference titles last season. This time, the Pirates (268 points) were runnerups in a hotly contested battle that separated the top three teams by eight points. Gulf (273) won; Land O'Lakes (265) was third.

The top three each went 4-1 in a six-team tournament that included Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch and Nature Coast. The Bucs won out on total points.

"I thought Gulf was the team to beat and I thought Land O'Lakes was the team to beat," Pasco coach Mark DeAugustino said. "And they thought I had the team to beat. "There's just tough wrestling here in Pasco County."

Gulf also came out on top individually with 130-pound champion Mike Calafiore named the top wrestler.

Gulf coach Travis DeWalt described his team's victory as "bittersweet. I wanted to get a shot at the conference title-holders and we lost (to Pasco). That was the one match I wanted to win."

DeWalt allowed his athletes one day to celebrate, then at Monday's practice told them to forget about the past.

The focus at this week's practice is on Saturday's East Lake Invitational that DeWalt said will challenge his team for the second straight season. Especially since it includes state champion Brandon and final four teams Cape Coral and Miami Southridge.

Five county teams will be in Land O'Lakes on Saturday for the Swamp Challenge, including Hudson, Pasco, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills.

Contact Steve Lee at lee@sptimes.com or (352) 521-6517.

[Last modified November 28, 2006, 07:04:50]


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