By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001
ZEPHYRHILLS -- Zephyrhills coach Christopher Bounnell wasn't exactly brimming with confidence before Wednesday's Sunshine Athletic Conference meet. Bounnell had just suspended three of his lifters for unspecified disciplinary reasons.
However, the rest of the Bulldogs regrouped for a 57-56 win over River Ridge one year after losing the meet by two points.
The Bulldogs got key performances from Kevin Kennedy (154) and Shane Hand (heavyweight). Kennedy finished second while Hand finished fourth. "The rest of us just came together privately and said we missed it last year by two points for the same reason," Zephyrhills heavyweight Len Sones said. "We don't care about who's not here. We were worried about who's here and we're going to take this thing."
Bounnell said the suspended Michael Moody, Josh Gainey and David Markle could have scored about 14 points.
But the difference came from River Ridge.
The Knights' 238-pounder, Adam Eberle, scratched on the bench at 285 pounds. "With the guys that were competing at 238 today, he would have taken first or second," River Ridge coach Mike Marlin said. "I told him he needs to open up light because you don't know what the judges like and it's different equipment. He had done 300, and he felt pretty confident at 285. But he didn't go."
River Ridge won four classes. Mike Tubolino won at 199 pounds with a 590, the meet's best.
Gary Pargament (129), Tim Dare (169) and Alan Minichino (219) also won. Zephyrhills won conference crowns at each end of the meet. Josh Harrington won at 119 while Sones won the heavyweight title.
Pasco finished third with 44 points thanks to three titles. Robert Beauvais (139), Kirk Moats (183) and Mickey Roberts (238) won their classes.
Hudson, the defending conference champion, finished fourth with 32 points.