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By BOB PUTNAM
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001
LAKELAND -- Relying on its lighter weights, Countryside took a big step toward a top-10 finish at the state wrestling tournament.
Dominic DeNunzio (112 pounds) and Mike Flood (119) each won first-round bouts, and Vincent Scholl (103) and Mike Crews (275) are still alive in wrestlebacks as the Cougars scored 11 points to tie six other teams for eighth in Class 2A after the first day. It was the highest finish among county teams. Countryside needs the lightweights to pull through to stay in the top 10. Matt Turtzo (130) and Joe Krajacic (189) lost their first two bouts in the double-elimination tournament.
The top 10 is the best the Cougars can realistically achieve because Brandon has dominated the 2A tournament with 35 points, more than double of runner-up Lake Region (17). None of the Eagles' 12 wrestlers have been eliminated. TOUGH DAY: Northeast's Jesse Floyd, a regional champion at 125 pounds and a favorite by Floridakids.net to make it to the finals of his weight class, was eliminated with losses in his first two bouts in 2A. Floyd lost in the first round to Shaun Tector of Fort Walton Beach. In his next bout, Floyd forfeited to Justin Ellinburg of Lakeland George Jenkins.
It was a tough way for Floyd, a transfer from St. Petersburg, to end his prep career. He was a state runner-up at 103 pounds as a sophomore when he wrestled for the Green Devils. Last season, he failed to make weight at districts and could not compete.
A WIN AND A PIN: Pinellas Park's Delvon Stanley is continuing his tear through the post-season. A 160-pounder, Stanley pinned Keoki Jones of Fort Walton Beach in 41 seconds in the first round to stay alive in the winner's bracket. He has pinned all nine opponents he has faced since districts.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: After setting a school record by advancing six wrestlers to the Class A tournament, half of Osceola's team dropped out the first day.
The good news is the three wrestlers remaining -- Tony Cianciolo (152), T.J. Baxter (171) and Tom Ryan (215) -- each won their first-round bout. The Warriors are in 19th place with eight points.