St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

DeCristofaro worked for title


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2001

SPRING HILL -- Gerard DeCristofaro would look into the eyes of anyone who asked and, with that predator stare underscoring his words, say those who work the hardest get what they want.

The Springstead senior always knew he outworked everyone. So a Class A state title at 140 pounds would be his.

It was, along with a 49-0 record with 38 pins, conference, district and region titles and victories over five wrestlers who went on to place in the top five at state.

DeCristofaro was never as imposing physically as he was mentally. Wiry, freckled and with a bright buzz of blond hair, he wasn't always the strongest or the quickest; but invariably the best prepared.

"As an athlete, he was a C-minus," Springstead coach Bob Levija said. "Through work ethic and heart, he became an A wrestler."

DeCristofaro's routine of running early in the morning, at lunch and before bed plus practice after school and after dinner hammered him into an unrelenting, unstoppable force.

"I don't think anybody was in the shape I was in," he said. "What do I get out of it? Right when the ref raises my hand, that means I earned something no else was there to help me with. It's something I did all by myself."

DeCristofaro became just the third Eagle to finish undefeated and set a school record for wins.

He began preparing for his senior season when he went 41-4 as a junior but failed to place at state at 130. He did not stop until he beat Jacksonville Bartram Trail's Herman Klinger 7-3 for the state title. "At the end of last year, he said, "I will win a state title,' and that's what he did," Levija said. "He worked for it every single day."

Too close to call


SCHOOL: Springstead.

YEAR: Senior.

CLASS: 140.

RECORD: 49-0.

PINS: 38.

TITLES: Class A state, region, district, conference championships.

* * *


SCHOOL: Brandon.

YEAR: Senior.

CLASS: 140.

RECORD: 38-0.

PINS: 30.

TITLES: Class 2A state, region, district, conference championships.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright

From the Times sports desk

Devil Rays/baseball
  • Rays on a better kind of streak
  • Castilla: 'Get me out of here'
  • Prieto sent down, may see new role
  • Baseball briefs
  • With roof repaired, SkyDome reopens

  • Motorsports
  • Families deal with loss in different ways
  • Readers sound off on NASCAR

  • Arena football
  • Storm expects improvements

  • Mutiny
  • College star makes adjustment to MLS

  • NFL
  • Parade for Lewis set for today in Lakeland
  • NFL briefs

  • Outdoors
  • Captain's corner

  • Et cetera
  • Wood offers chance to trace Pegasus' success
  • NBA briefs
  • Sports briefs
  • NHL briefs

  • Preps
  • DeCristofaro worked for title
  • Emch can say he's a champ
  • Lion has familiar look about her
  • Ridgewood takes out Hernando
  • Hudson avenges defeat against Zephyrhills 11-7
  • Marauders heating up as season winds down
  • Around Hillsborough
  • Around Pinellas
  • Venice left-hander shuts down Dunedin

  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts