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Wrestling: Six Leopards headed to state tournament
By Dan Hoehne, Special to the Times
Published February 10, 2008
AVON PARK - Hernando dominated in its region matches Saturday, sending six wrestlers to the state tournament.
Gulf, Pasco and Hudson each saw three wrestlers qualify, two from Zephyrhills advanced, and Nature Coast and Sunlake each had one qualify.
In the 125-pound class, Hernando's Daniel Pritz went 4-0 on the day to win the region title in the 125-pound weight class, and Jesse Graham (140) was the champion in his weight class. Hernando's Max Morrill (135 pounds) finished and James Davidson (171) as runnersup in their class.
At 189 pounds, Nick Pauliot lost his second match before pulling off three straight wins to advance to state, while Taylor Rotunda (215) won his first two before falling in his third match to Pasco's Eric Stroud by a 5-2 decision. Rotunda then pinned Nuby Brandon of Nature Coast in 36 seconds in the semifinal round to advance.
Stroud's win was one of his three straight to send him the championship round, where he earned the individual title. Pasco's Videl Jimenez (103) finished as the runnerup to Gulf's Richard O'Connor, and Ray Perez took the 189-pound championship.
Gulf's Jordan Holding (130) advanced with a region title, as did Hudson's Devinlee Brown (171).
Gulf's Martin Levinson (171), Hudson's Antonio Germano (160) and Travis Tindel (285), Zephryhills' Nick Hynes (112) and Robbie Kunkle (140), and Nature Coast's David Simonson (112) all advanced to state.
For Sunlake, Jarrett Baker qualified by going 3-0 in the semifinal rounds at 189 pounds and finished as the region runnerup.