Spoils of battle: HHS loses Tafelski for the season, but advance nine to states

REGIONAL RUNNERS-UP – For the seventh time in 47 winters, Hernando High returned from Oviedo Saturday night with a regional runner-up trophy.

1A-II WRESTLING

Leopards break 14-year

school record for state placers

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

Like a lawnmower, defending regional champion, Lake Highland Prep, trimmed the 178-grappler field to 56 during this weekend’s Class 1A, Region II Tournament at Oviedo’s The Master’s Academy.

LHP, which has captured six of the last seven Class 1A state crowns, advanced a meet-high 13 Highlanders – highlighted by 12 regional champions – to the Mar. 8-9 FHSAA State Finals in Osceola County.

The Highlanders didn’t duplicate last winter’s believed state record of 378.5 points, finishing with 346.5, or 152.0 points better, than runner-up Hernando High.

The Leopards’ second-place trophy – its seventh in regionals across the past 47 winters – came with a price tag.

HHS pushed a school record nine state qualifiers to the Silver Spurs Arena breaking the 2003 and 2005 high-water mark of seven state qualifiers.

Boston Tafelski

In exchange, the Purple and Gold saw five members ousted, including injured senior Boston Tafelski at 145.

In a freak accident, Tafelski heard a pop in Friday’s warm-up. His knee swelled up immediately afterward.

Though he tried competing – essentially on one leg – Tafelski was eliminated after a 1-2 effort.

In all, Hernando County’s four mat programs in the Seminole County meet saw 26-of-40 members eliminated (65 percent).

When the dust settled, however, each school will be represented at states.

Leopards push nine

Over the arduous weekend, the Purple and Gold returned home with 34 wins across 54 bouts (63 percent), highlighted by 27 pin falls.

Billy Gould
Josh Pritz

Advancing to the Class 1A State Finals at the Silver Spurs Arena includes sophomores Billy Gould (35-10, 17 pins), Josh Pritz at 138 (38-6, 26 pins), and Sam Fleming at 285 (34-18, 22 pins), juniors Jonathan Britton at 113 (37-11, 25 pins), Michael Brown at 132 (36-12, 16 pins) and Qwenton Coney at 220 (32-11, 16 pins), along side seniors Bronson Tafelski at 152 (38-12, 24 pins), Fernando Valdez at 170 (44-6, 25 pins), and Alex “New York” Espinal at 182 (37-12, 28 pins).

Five Leopards reached the event finals only to settle on silver medals including: Gould, Pritz, Tafelski, Valdez and Fleming.

Britton, Brown and Coney all finished third while Espinal placed fourth.

The state meet will be Pritz’s third appearance and second each for Tafelski and Coney.

To date, none of the current Leopards has ever placed top-six at states.

Michael Brown

Brown paced the Leopards with five regional victories, while Britton and Coney each garnered four wins apiece.

Qwenton Coney

Coney also led the squad with three pin falls while Gould, Bronson Tafelski, junior Will Ertl at 160, and Valdez each chipped in two pins each.

Despite advancing its most amount of wrestlers to states, the mood was not celebratory; dampened by the injury to Boston Tafelski.

Coaches’ corner

David Pritz

“We had a great weekend, but it was a little bitter sweet because of losing Tafelski,” noted former HHS three-time state placer David Pritz.

In analyzing his team’s effort, “For the most part, even when we lost, our guys bounced back with wins,” savored the seventh-year HHS mentor. “We hit our goal. We wanted to advance at least nine to states.”

On who stood out, “It had to be Sam (Fleming) making the finals,” declared Pritz. “He was in close matches to get there. It was a great performance.”

On finishing 0-for-5 in the finals, “It’s always hard to win any regional title,” shared Pritz, who incidentally won in 2005-06. “But at the end of the day, we still had a great tournament.“

Heaping praise on Lake Highland Prep, “They’re just at another level,” acknowledged Pritz. “They pushed the pace hard in every match. That’s how you walk away with 12 regional champions.”

Hornets finish sixth

The three-time district runner-up Weeki Wachee Hornets departed with a glass half full opinion.

Yes, the US-19 mat men left with its best-ever regional finish.

But on the flip side, it cost WWHS 13 of its 14 grapplers.

WWHS left with 84.0 points after collecting 24 wins across 52 bouts (46 percent), highlighted by 16 pins.

Four Hornets pocketed three wins apiece including freshman Dominic Scaffedi at 113, sophomore Keith Germain at 106, junior Deacon Straube at 220 and senior Jahkiye Facey at 285.

Deacon Straube

Straube, who led the squad with three pins, was lone member to advance to states after placing fourth.

The first-year grappler pinned Titusville junior Robert Ware in 3:54 of the “Blood Round” – or consolation semifinals – punching his ticket to the FHSAA State Finals.

Straube walks into Kissimmee at 25-14 with 18 pins.

Third-year WWHS mentor Dan Gigantelli didn’t wasn’t to say I told you so about Straube meteoric rise.

Dan Gigantelli

“Over the last month of the season, he’s really come on,” shared Gigantelli. “I had a good feeling about him. He’s a guy who knows one speed – all out – and he makes things happen on the mat.”

On the plus side, Gigantelli expects half of his regional lineup to return next winter.

“Keith (Germain) made it a round further than last year and Scaffedi made it to the Blood Round before being eliminated,” he said.

On what was the constant theme, “It was how pumped up our guys were to wrestle. I was very impressed with how much Facey improved and he was in a really hard weight class,” added Gigantelli. “I expect nothing, but bright things in the future from these guys.“

Sharks push trip to states

Though Nature Coast Technical finished 10th in last year’s regionals and 11th this winter, the Sharks pushed three members to the FHSAA State Finals for a second straight season.

Jonathan Dominguez

Overall, the Brooksville mat men captured 14 of 31 bouts (47 percent), highlighted by seven pins.

Jaxson Morris

Sophomores Jonathan Dominguez at 113 (36-9, 25 pins) and Billy Fetzner at 138 (43-14, county-best 29 pins) and junior Jaxson Morris at 132 (29-16, 21 pins) each advanced to the elite meet in Kissimmee.

Dominguez didn’t get out of the first period with any of his first three foes, pinning each in 1:12, 1:28 and 0:55 seconds.

But in the finals against LHP’s talented junior Jake Wohltman, Dominguez was pinned in 32 ticks.

Morris and Fetzner each placed fourth to move on.

Morris bounced 2018 state qualifier, The Villages sophomore Cameron Rima in the “Blood Round” via a 10-4 decision to advance to “The Show.”

Billy Fetzner

Fetzner bested Citrus County standout and four-time 1A-5 champion Roderick Bruce of Crystal River in the “Blood Round” – thanks to a 6-5 decision.

Second-year NCT mentor Chance Phillips, who was upset at his team’s lack of execution during districts, reversed his stance this week.

“We had a great weekend,” beamed Phillips. “We took three again.”

Chance Phillips

On the keys to success, “Its all about winning close matches,” noted Phillips, a two-time Georgia state qualifier. “When you get into those close matches, the fundamentals will help you through.

“… Billy was grinding away against Bruce but we hit a four-point with six seconds left that made the difference. Initially, I thought he lost, because we ran out of time. But the refs talked it over. When you work hard, sometimes luck finds you,” added Phillips.

The Shark mentor was impressed with Morris’ overall efforts, “That Lake Highland kid is a great wrestler, but he’s also in a great room – which helps. Morris’ calf muscle kinda seized up on him. I think he’ll be able to rehab it and be just fine.”

On his team’s biggest improvement, “To be a state qualifier, you’ve gotta keep your head no matter the score or situation. Everyone is good at states, so the respect is mutual. The kids that win at states are the guys who work the hardest and can balance intensity and control,” shared Coach Phillips.

Central: Sorensen finds a way to states

A year ago, Central’s Jesse Sorensen finished one win shy of advancing to states.

This past weekend, the junior heavyweight captured four wins in six bouts, featuring three pins to represent the Bears at “The Show.”

Jesse Sorensen
Foster Hawthorne

Sorensen becomes the first CHS grappler since Foster Hawthorne in 2017 to advance. Jesse also becomes the program’s first-ever heavyweight in 30 seasons.

The last CHS state placer was Brandon Brown in 2014.

In a balanced weight division, Sorensen won his first match via a pin fall before falling to a human condominium in Atlantic’s Jared Jackson, 13-7.

From the consolation bracket, Sorensen pinned Damarion Howard of Satellite in 2:49 and Cocoa’s Hunter Gfell in 3:52 to reach the Blood Round against a familiar face.

Against NCT junior Michael Marotta, Sorensen (29-7, 21 pins) won 7-3 to advance to states.

Greg Climan

The monumental victory was not lost on first-year CHS skipper Greg Climan.

“It kinda played out like we thought it would,“ recalled Climan. “The Atlantic and Rockledge kids were houses. And really so is Sam (Fleming) from Hernando.

“Jesse was fortunate to get that Atlantic kid early. After he lost, Jesse did a great job of sticking to the game plan. He shot a nice single leg against a big man and it paid off (versus Marotta).”

On the weekend, “Jesse lost to the champion and third-placer. He gets an ‘A’ for how well he wrestled,” pointed out Climan. “I forgot that he was losing his first consolation match until he flipped that kid on to his back. His experience really came forward.”

03-01/02-19: 1A-II Tourney @ Oviedo-The Master’s Academy

2019 Final 1A-II Team Standings:

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep Highlanders
 

RK.

 

TEAM

 

PTS.

1.

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep (LHP)

346.5

 

2.

 

Brooksville-Hernando (HER)

 

193.5

3.

Rockledge (ROC)

124.0

4.

Cocoa-Space Coast (SC)

91.5

5.

Port Orange-Atlantic (ATL)

90.0

 

6.

 

Weeki Wachee (WW)

 

84.0

7.

Orlando-Bishop Moore (OBM)

78.5

8.

Cocoa Beach (CB)

75.0

9.

Palatka (PAL)

69.5

9.

The Villages (TV)

69.5

 

11.

 

Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical (NCT)

 

66.0

12.

Oviedo-The Master’s Academy (TMA)

60.0

13.

Crystal River (CR)

48.0

14.

Satellite Beach-Satellite (SAT)

43.0

15.

New Port Richey-Gulf (GF)

38.5

16.

The First Academy (TFA)

35.0

17.

Cocoa (COC)

34.5

18.

Titusville (TIT)

33.5

19.

Brooksville-Central (CEN)

25.0

20.

Leesburg (LEE)

21.0

21.

Hudson (HUD)

14.0

22.

Keystone Heights (KH_

7.0

23.

Holiday-Anclote (ANC)

6.0

24.

Interlachen (INT)

3.0

25.

Gainesville-Eastside (EAST)

0.0

2019 Class 1A, Region II Qualifiers (56)

 

RK.

 

TEAM

 

NO.

1.

Orlando-Lake Highland Prep

13

2.

Brooksville-Hernando

9

3.

Rockledge

5

4.

Port Orange-Atlantic

3

4.

Orlando-Bishop Moore

3

4.

Cocoa Beach

3

4.

Oviedo-The Master’s Academy

3

4.

The Villages

3

4.

Cocoa-Space Coast

3

4.

Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical

3

11.

Palatka

2

12.

Satellite Beach-Satellite

1

12.

New Port Richey-Gulf

1

12.

Leesburg-First Academy

1

12.

Brooksville-Central

1

12.

Titusville

1

12.

Weeki Wachee

1

 

56

2019 Finals Results

106 – Danny Nini (LHP) pin Brandon Cody (TMA), 3:12.

113Jake Wohltmann (LHP) pin Jonathan Dominguez (NCT), 5:32.

120Ontarriyus Reid (PAL) pin Billy Gould (HER), 5:49.

126 – Nick Bouzakis (LHP) pin Austin Carter (TIT), 1:14.

132 – Vincent Menozzi (LHP) dec. Michael Watson (COCB), 8-3.

138Justin Rivera (LHP) dec. Josh Pritz (HER), 11-4.

145 – Chris Rivera (LHP) pin Devin Hernandez (OBM), 5:41.

152 Dominic Isola (LHP) major dec. Bronson Tafelski (HER), 15-5.

160 – Cameron Monzadeh (LHP) major dec. Ryan Cody (TMA), 13-3.

170Hunter Brinkman (LHP) major dec. Fernando Valdez (HER), 13-4.

182 – Kai Bele (LHP) won via forfeit over Liam Harris (TMA).

195 – Logan Andrew (LHP) pin Charles Alexander (ROC), 1:29.

220 – Matt Kaplan (LHP) pin Jordon Love (ROC), 5:24.

285 – Jared Jackson (ATL) pin Sam Fleming (HER), 0:37.

2018 Consolation Finals Results

106 – Jarney Bruner (ATL) major dec. Anthony Edwards (SPC), 12-0.

113Jonathan Britton (HER) dec. Jacob Tihoni (SATE), 5-4.

120 – Preston Walls (LHP) dec. Azizbek Rustamiy (ATL), 7-0.

126 – Drevon Wallace (PAL) pin James Creech (TV), 1:57.

132Michael Brown (HER) won via forfeit over Jaxson Morris (NCT).

138James Clark (COCB) dec. Billy Fetzner (NCT), 6-1.

145 – Solen Sheppard (GF) won via forfeit over Jason Amato (SPC).

152 – Gavin Wheeler (OBM) dec, Ethan Hatcher (TV), 1-0.

160 – Joey Smith (ROC) pin Jacob Carbonell (OBM), 1:54.

170 – Marcus Santos (SPC) dec. Isaiah Strong (FA), 7-2.

182Devicq Thompson-Alexander (ROC) pin Alex Espinal (HER), 2:21.

195 – Peter Sagorski (COCB) dec. Mason St. John (TV), 3-2.

220 – Qwenton Coney (HER) dec. Deacon Straube (WW), 6-0.

285DeAudre Thomas (ROC) dec. Jesse Sorensen (CEN), 6-0.

Hernando Individual Results

 

WGT.

 

NAME

 

YR

 

W

 

L

 

PINS

PL.

 

106

Jackson, Heaven-Leigh

11

1

2

1

 

113

Britton, Jonathon

11

4

1

1

3rd

 

120

Gould, Billy

10

3

1

2

2nd

 

126

Lisk, J.

12

2

2

1

 

132

Brown, Michael

11

5

1

0

3rd

 

138

Pritz, Josh

10

2

1

1

2nd

 

145

Tafelski, Boston

12

1

2

0

 

152

Tafelski, Bronson

11

3

1

2

2nd

 

160

Ertl, Will

10

2

2

2

 

170

Valdez, Fernando

12

2

1

2

2nd

 

182

Espinal, Alex

12

2

2

1

4th

 

195

Romain, Maddox

10

0

2

0

 

220

Coney, Qwenton

11

4

1

3

3rd

 

285

Fleming, Sam

10

3

1

1

2nd

 

TOTALS (14)

 

34

 

20

 

17

 

9

Weeki Wachee Individual Results

 

WGT

 

NAME

 

YR

 

W

 

L

 

PINS

 

PL

 

106

Germain, Keith

10

3

2

2

 

113

Scaffedi, Dominic

9

3

2

1

 

120

Beck, Lane

9

2

2

2

 

126

Fournier, James

12

2

2

2

 

132

Vedder, Cole

10

0

2

0

 

138

Reidinger, Michael

12

0

2

0

 

145

Mayberry, Aidan

10

1

2

0

 

152

Danner, Jacob

12

2

2

1

=

 

160

Fisher, Kaden

10

1

2

1

 

170

Strickland, Brian

12

1

2

1

 

182

Charles, Klebert

12

1

2

1

 

195

Schmidt, Jason

12

2

2

2

 

220

Straube, Deacon

11

3

2

3

4th

 

285

Facey, Jahkiye

12

3

2

0

 

TOTALS (14)

 

24

 

28

 

16

 

-1-

Nature Coast Technical Individual Results

 

WGT

 

NAME

 

YR

 

W

 

L

 

PINS

 

PL

 

106

Craine, Dylan

9

0

2

0

 

113

Dominguez, Jonathan

10

3

1

3

2nd

 

120

Wiedmer, Damon

9

0

2

0

 

126

Gentz, Aaron

10

0

2

0

 

132

Morris, Jaxson

11

4

2

3

4th

 

138

Fetzner, Billy

10

3

2

0

4th

 

170

Paneson, Tristan

10

0

2

0

 

182

Spellman, Chris

10

1

2

1

 

285

Marotta, Michael

11

2

2

0

 

TOTALS (9)

 

13

 

17

 

7

 

-3-

Central Individual Results

 

WGT

 

NAME

 

YR

 

W

 

L

 

PINS

 

PL

 

138

Wood, Caleb

11

2

2

2

 

220

Carmack, Zack

11

0

2

0

 

285

Sorensen, Jesse

11

4

2

3

4th

 

TOTALS (3)

 

6

 

6

 

5

-1-

 

 

 

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