Entering regionals, Cardinal Gibbons wrestling coach Frank Pettineo’s goal was to get double-digit wrestlers into states.
By the time the last finals match was over Saturday, the host Chiefs had exceeded Pettineo’s expectations by one.
Eleven wrestlers will be wearing Cardinal Gibbons red in the Class 1A finals as the Chiefs ran away with the Region 4-1A final with a team score of 263.5. Five of those 11 won an individual regional title by placing first in their weight classes.
“Most of our guys worked really hard throughout the season,” said Anthony Vazquez, who defeated Someret’s Joe Haan in the finals match at 132 pounds. “The guys who didn’t make it only lost by one point or it was a close match the whole match, so I’m proud of all our guys.”
In addition to Vazquez, Jamal Morris, Ryan Thomas, Jeiko Dasilviera and Diego Bell also won individual regional titles. Morris maintained his perfect record on the year with a 3-1 decision over Christian Perez of Doral Academy.
Thomas was down three with 30 seconds left when he came back with a scoop to pin Sterling Hill-Ridgeway of Coral Springs. He’ll be making his first trip to Lakeland.
“I’m a little nervous,” said Thomas, who is 36-4 this season as a freshman. “I’ve been watching them wrestle for two years, and now I’m in it.”
Bell surprised everyone — even his own coaches and teammates — when he won a state title at 225 pounds after being bumped up from the 185 class.
The wrestling state finals take place over two days starting Friday at The Lakeland Center.
Team standings: 1. Cardinal Gibbons 263.5; 2. Key West 155; 3. Somerset 117.5; 4. Plantation American Heritage 96; 5. Doral Academy 90.5; 6. Delray American Heritage 79; 7. Monsignor Pace 70; 8. Coral Shores 60; 9. Calvary Christian Academy 57.5; 10. Coral Springs Charter 57.
Championship finals – 106: Angelo Guieb Guieb (KW) dec. Zach Sherman (AHP) 5-0; 113: Franco Valdes (SOM) pin Dominick Gibson (CG) 2:29; 120: Christopher Moreno (DA) dec. Vic Blasucci (SOM) 12-2; 126: Jamal Morris (CG) dec. Christian Perez (DA) 3-1; 132: Anthony Vazquez (CG) dec. Joe Haan (SOM); 138: Danny Garcia (DA) dec. Erich Byelick (CCA) 7-3; 145: Chase Singletary (SOM) dec. Nick Limperis (CG) 6-2; 152: Zachary TAG Wilber (JUPChr.) pin Rodney Thomas (CG) 4:32; 160: Jeiko Dasilviera (CG) pin John Mulkeen (CS) 1:41; 170: Jose Fernandez (FC) pin Tyler Gilbert (AHD) 4:35; 182: Chase Kelley (KW) pin Adam Hude (CSCha.) 5:29; 195: Ryan Thomas (CG) pin Sterling Hill-Ridgeway (CS) 5:32; 220: Diego Bell (CG) dec. Roberto Val (KW) 13-8; 285: Richard Desir (AHD) pin Kenneth Sagan (KW) 5:36.
Consolation finals – 106: Ross Clark (CG) pin Joseph Lopez (SOM) 2:54; 113: Joseph Padron (AHD) pin Maher Jaser (ATM) 3:37; 120: Jamel Morris (CG) dec. Brady Moser (AHP) 10-1; 126: Elijah Cleary (JUPChr.) dec. Alexander Perez (MP) 8-5; 132: Nicholas James (AHP) dec. David Colatori (CHA) 8-1; 138: Scott Pomare (CUR) pin David Morse (AHD) 3:42; 145: Drayvan Golden (ED) dec. Andrew Perea (St. Andrews); 152: Ale Smith (MP) dec. Nicholas Chavez (SOM) 6-4; 160: Uriel Diaz (KW) pin Racheed Skyers (GLC) 2:33; 170: Conor Wipple (St. Andrews) pin Antonio Sannasardo (CG) 2:22; 182: Matthew Poirer (CCA) pin Joseph Morales (ATM) 1:26; 195: John Pozzi (KW) dec. Marquis Brown (JAC) 12-10; 220: Kenneth Rosa (CSCha.) pin Alston La Costa (CN) 2:25; 285: Jordan Ingraham (BTW) pin Matthew Lynch (WC) 2:24.