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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 - After many failed attempts to get Oviedo coach Tom Coffman to discuss having an open seeding meeting with other coaches before the Oviedo Tournament set for Friday-Saturday in Orlando, Brandon coach Russ Cozart withdrew his team.
He made his decision Wednesday night and e-mailed the Oviedo coach.
"Oviedo has one of the better programs in our state and a great team, but it is their tournament and they can operate it any way they like," Cozart said.
"I didn't find out until Dec. 12, their staff alone would do the seeding and I said then I would withdraw under those conditions."
Cozart said he tried to get Oviedo to allow other coaches who know many of the kids to participate.
"Wrestlers earn seeding positions by their records and competition. I don't know how the Oviedo staff alone will be able to assign fair seeding for a tournament as large as it is billed to be," Cozart said.
Oviedo is the defending Class 3A state champion and Brandon is the Class 2A champion. Miami South Dade was second in Class 3A last year and also was scheduled to compete.
The Eagles are ranked ninth in the nation by National Amateur Wrestling News and 14th by WIN Magazine, according to Cozart. They are one of the favorites to win the 2A title again.
Seeding places wrestlers in favored positions in a bracket event, usually first through eight, sometimes deeper.
The top two in each of the 14 weight classes, 103 through 285, are selected and placed in opposite brackets, allowing their better records to give them a chance to compete for the individual championships without eliminating each other early in the tournament.
None of the Oviedo coaches could be contacted Wednesday when Cozart made his decision.
CHIEFS DO WELL AT SOUTHSIDE DUALS: Though four Chamberlain wrestlers captured individual medals Dec. 22-23 in Boca Ciega in the Southside Duals, the absence of two team members, put the Chiefs 12 points down before each match started.
But William Greening (119) and Patrick Spano (152) won gold medals and Jordan Pritt (125) and Troy Chisholm (130) each won silver.
Greening turned in the only undefeated mark for Chamberlain, recording a 9-0 record.
Spano went 8-1 after dropping his first loss of the season, 8-5 to state champion Zack Maestro from Palmetto Ridge. Pritt and Chisholm, both went 7-2.