Springstead edges Hernando for HCAC championship

Hernando won the battle, but Springstead won the war.

By DEREK LaRIVIERE Times Correspondent
Published January 25, 2007

SPRING HILL - Hernando won the battle, but in the end Springstead won the war in Wednesday's Hernando County Athletic Conference Championships.

The round-robin dual tournament featured all four wrestling programs in Hernando County with Springstead going 3-0.

The Leopards went 2-1 overall with their only loss coming to the Eagles. In the deciding dual, Hernando won one of the closest matches between the programs.

At 215 pounds, Springstead's Jerrod Reynolds faced off with Hernando's Taylor Rotunda for the third time this season. In the first two matches, the foes were 1-1 with Reynolds winning the first match at Hernando during the Kiwanis Tournament in December and Rotunda taking the second match at Springstead during the Brijbag Tournament this month.

The bout was 1-1 until the third period when Rotunda got two crucial takedowns to steal the match 7-2. In another surprisingly close match, Springstead's Mike Heagney defeated Hernando's Nick Pauliot 3-1 at 189 pounds.

Central (1-2) came in third. The biggest win for the Bears came in their dual with Hernando where Gilbert Perez (140) defeated returning state qualifier Jesse Graham. Perez had yet to tackle heavy competition locally this season, so the victory was a coming-out party of sorts.

Nature Coast lost all three of its duals. The Sharks' best individual win came from Lee Lehman (215). In the dual with Springstead, Lehman defeated Reynolds 5-4 for arguably his biggest win of the season.