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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.
By ANDY VILLAMARZO, Times Correspondent
Published January 27, 2008
WESLEY CHAPEL - For Mustangs wrestler Shea Taylor, the past couple of years have helped him improve from only winning two matches as a freshmen to winning an individual title.
But for his team, it has been the past couple of weeks that have really helped Mitchell grow through a tough season to place first at the SAC wrestling championships Saturday at Wesley Chapel.
"We were all working together, focused on going one direction, and it paid off as it showed here," coach John Stanjeski said. "We wanted conference this time. ... It is our teamwork that came together (Saturday)."
The Mustangs sent seven wrestlers to the finals, and two wrestlers won individual titles: senior John Sacco at 152 pounds and Taylor at 145 pounds.
"We have really come together the past couple weeks," said Taylor, who improved to 21-3. "The last couple of weeks have been the best two weeks of the season."
Mitchell ended the day with 234 points to place first. Gulf took second with 206 points, while River Ridge placed third with 199 points.
Gulf had three champions in Jarrod Carpenter (103), Josh Przybysz (135) and Jordan Holding (130), who improved to 31-2.
"(Carpenter) was pretty focused," Gulf coach Travis DeWalt said. "He is bound and determined to get to Lakeland (for states), and I am hoping to make the trip with him."
Pasco also came on strong with three individual winners: Matt Penix (125), Ray Perez (189) and Erik Stroud (215).
Ridgewood's Dean Stupar was also a winner in the 112 weight class.
"Last year I was waiting for my shot," Stupar said. "This year I am taking what I can get."
Other individual winners Saturday were River Ridge's Tyler Fleming (119) and Anthony Colello (275), Zephryhills' Robbie Kunkie (140), and Hudson's Tony Germano (160) and Devinlee Brown (171).