By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001
LAKELAND -- Skill, aggression, endurance and hunger all played a big part in the first day of action at the Florida High School Wrestling Championships on Thursday. Only 21 Hillsborough County wrestlers remained in the winners bracket.
The Eagles closed the first day with 35 points, a solid lead with all 12 wrestlers still in position to score points, including nine in the winners bracket.
"I'm happy for the guys, because they did well the first day," Brandon coach Russ Cozart said.
Durant 112-pounder Nick Sims was one of several Hillsborough County wrestlers who pulled off upsets. He scored a 14-13 decision over Reynaldo Hernandez of South Plantation. After the match, his concern was hunger more than his next opponent.
"I'll make weight Friday for the last time, but I'll probably weigh 125 by Saturday though," he said. "I am starving and Friday is our final weigh-in."
Brandon's winners include sophomore 103-pounder Alejandro Figueroa and seniors Brian Burgman (135) and David Emch (140). Other Eagles still in the hunt include Tom Hutchinson (112), Ryan Joyce (119), Brian Barsoumian (125), Matt Juncal (160), Nick Ferrario (189) and once-beaten Joe Papp (275).
Emch set a state record for pins, with 105.
Other Hillsborough wrestlers remaining in the winners bracket include Cornelius Wiggins (130) and Phillip Marshall (217) of Plant City, Jordan Pirkl (135) of Riverview and Luis Dick (275) of Armwood in Class 2A.
In Class A are Alex Enriquez (103) of Jesuit, Chris Rexroot (125), David Craig (112) and Rocky Cozart (119) of Temple Heights, plus Mike Martinez (145) of Tampa Catholic.
David Mason (125) and Justin Diaz (160) of Bloomingdale and Sims of Durant are the only 3A winners bracket survivors.