From start to finish, Saturday night proved to be for the St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders.
Before the championship and consolation rounds, former Aquinas and Purdue University wrestler Jake Patacsil was inducted into the BCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame. Then, the current team secured back-to-back county titles for the first time since its three-peat from 1998-2000.
For the second year in a row, the nine-time BCAA champion Raiders held a small lead — 1.5 points — after Day 1, before distancing themselves from Cardinal Gibbons in a 266.5-239 victory. South Broward placed third with 196.5 points.
“It’s nice, it’s bragging rights,” said coach Rob Wimberly, whose program has now won three of the past four years. “We’re going to enjoy the weekend, but our real goals are winning state titles and do well in the state tournament. It’s a nice pre-test, and our guys had a really good round tonight.”
Five of the six Aquinas finalists won their respective weight classes, including Alex Uhre, who became just the second wrestler to win four BCAA titles. He pinned Everglades’ Steven Nogradi in 56 seconds in the 113-pound class. The other four-time county champion, Guy Gibson, was also a Raider (2000-03).
After his victory, lower-weight MVP Uhre embraced his coaches and teammates. He ran into the stands to his family where his mother, Patty, hoisted a poster with a hand holding up four fingers. She had thought of the idea in her sleep a couple nights ago.
“It feels awesome,” said Uhre, who will wrestle at the University of Virginia. “I’ve been thinking about this since seventh grade. It was always my goal to win four county titles, and I did.”
Shiquan Hall, who captured two GMAC titles at South Dade before transferring to Aquinas, collected his fourth overall in the 132-pound division.
Jamel Morris, now a three-time BCAA champion for the Chiefs, earned a technical fall over Western’s Devon Lira at 120. In a rematch of last year’s 126 bout, two-time state champion Jamal Morris avenged his 2-1 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas’ Sal Guerrerio with a 7-3 decision. Guerrerio had beaten him the past two years.
The Morris twins and Cypress Bay’s Jonathan McNamara, who picked up his second BCAA title with a 3-1 decision at 195, are the remaining unbeatens in Broward County.
“It felt good,” said Jamal, whose Chiefs qualified four finalists and took three of those bouts. “He beat me twice last year, and I’ve always wanted to beat him. We always have those close matches.”
Plantation’s Jonathan Francois defended his 106-pound title, as did South Broward’s Kevin Jacques, the upper-weight MVP. Bulldog Eddie Pierce received middleweight MVP for his victory at 145. Romario Anderson brought Coral Springs its first individual champion since 2007.
Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were coach Joe Jiovenetta, former McArthur state champion Johnny Craig and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Davin Joseph, a two-time state champion at Hallandale.
Team scores: St. Thomas Aquinas 266.5, Cardinal Gibbons 239, South Broward 196.5, Miramar 167, Coral Springs 157, Cypress Bay 155, Everglades 134.5, Cooper City 122, Douglas 99, Western 95.
Championship – 106: Jonathan Francois (PLA) dec. Randy Garay (HAL) 10-3; 113: Alex Uhre (STA) pin Steven Nogradi (EVG) 0:56; 120: Jamel Morris (CG) tech fall Devon Lira (WES) 16-0; 126: Jamal Morris (CG) dec. Sal Guerrerio (STA) 7-3; 132: Shiquan Hall (STA) pin Fabian West (COR) 3:03; 138: Anthony Vazquez (CG) dec. Alex Lopoushanski (SB) 8-1; 145: Eddie Pierce (SB) dec. Nick Limpiris (CG) 12-8; 152: Kris Iglesias (STA) dec. Kenny Boyd (STR) 8-4; 160: Johnny Weiss (STA) dec. Nate Delevoe (SB) 4-2 (OT); 170: Gio Jiovenetta (STA) maj. dec. George Poole (CS) 10-2; 182: Romario Anderson (CS) dec. Aris Knight (ELY) 9-5; 195: Jonathan McNamara (CB) dec. Jordan Sanchez (CC) 3-1; 220: Michael Marshall (NOV) pin Malique Johnson (PLA) 3:11; 285: Kevin Jacques (SB) pin Dylan Seidle (CB) 4:49.
Consolation – 106: Johan Gomes (STA) maj. dec. Ross Clark (CG) 10-0; 113: Joshua Brown (MIR) dec. Danny Strent (CB) 6-2; 120: Alexander Lesesne (MIR) tech fall Brandon Smith (DB) 16-1; 126: Caleb Carter (MON) pin Tuqwan Stone (MIR) 4:59; 132: Javier Gonzalez (CB) dec. Jon Elder (SB) 5-3 (OT); 138: Rami Sadek (COR) dec. Tyler Marquez (MIR) 7-4; 145: Eric Perez (CC) dec. Brian Perez (STA) 5-0; 152: Ernie Levy (MIR) dec. Hunter Gatto (CB) 6-5; 160: Nick Mejias (CS) dec. Randolph Prudhomme (EVG) 8-1; 170: Eugene Kinchen (MIR) pin Tevin Medina (SB) 4:33; 182: Jeremy Scott (STA) dec. Trevor Martin (CG) 13-7; 195: Ryan Thomas (CG) injury default Stephan Wilson (DIL); 220: Alex King (STR) dec. DeAngelo Greer (EVG) 3-1; HWT: Michael Jean-Baskin (ELY) pin Carim Braveboy (MIR) 2:57.