River Cities Gazette

Miami Springs wrestler James Medal wins regional title, advances to state as No. 1 seed

REGIONAL CHAMP: Miami Springs wrestler James Medal (second from left) stood on the highest podium for a reason. That’s reserved for the regional champion which he became last Saturday night when he edged Mater Academy’s Yancarlos Guerra (to his immediate left) 3-2 in the 138 lbs. title match at Jensen Beach High School.
REGIONAL CHAMP: Miami Springs wrestler James Medal (second from left) stood on the highest podium for a reason. That’s reserved for the regional champion which he became last Saturday night when he edged Mater Academy’s Yancarlos Guerra (to his immediate left) 3-2 in the 138 lbs. title match at Jensen Beach High School.

River Cities Gazette

It was only a week earlier that Miami Springs wrestler James Medal walked off the mat at Miami Central High School having just lost to Yancarlos Guerra from Mater Academy 6-3 in the championship match of the district tournament.

“I told him, ‘get ready, you might see him again next week at regionals,’ ” said Springs head coach Dave Ryan. “I had a feeling it might come down to those two again and it did.”

Indeed. Only last Saturday night (Feb. 8), the stakes were much higher.

Medal, who qualified for regionals anyway with his runnerup district finish (first through fourth go), turned in his best 24 hours of the season, knocking off three straight opponents, (two on Friday, a third in Saturday morning’s semifinals) one of them a No. 1 seed, to make it to Saturday evening’s championship match of the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament at Jensen Beach High School.

And on the other end of the mat? You guessed it, Yancarlos Guerra.

Only this time, there was a different winner.

With the score tied 2-2 and 30 seconds left in regulation, Medal, stuck underneath Guerra who was riding him, executed a perfect one-point escape and emerged with a 3-2 victory and was crowned regional champion.

“Before districts I had never faced him before so I was a little in the dark as far as knowing the opponent,” said Medal. “As a result I don’t think I may have been aggressive enough. I took that and learned from it. When I got another shot at him in regionals, I was definitely more aggressive and didn’t allow him to dictate and that’s more my style anyway so it all worked out.”

The reward for Medal will be his third straight trip to the state tournament in Lakeland, set for this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15 in the Lakeland Civic Center.

Only this time, unlike the last two years, Medal, now 43-5 this season, will be going up as a regional champion and thus a No. 1 seed. His first round opponent will be a No. 4 seed from a different region, in the form of Corey Tisdal from Ocala Lake Weir on Friday morning.

How tough is the state tournament? Despite being a No. 4 seed, Tisdal will bring a 29-3 record into the match. Medal must defeat Tisdal on Friday morning and then another opponent on Friday afternoon in the second round just to make Saturday morning’s semifinals, something he failed to do his first two years up there.

As a sophomore two years ago and junior last year, he traveled north having finished fourth and second in regionals, respectively, thus he was a No. 4 and No. 2 seed.

The end result was a tougher first round opponent who he failed to beat either time. While he won his first wrestleback, you need to win twice more just to place and he lost both times in his second wrestleback.

“I feel like everything I’ve been working toward has led me to this ,” said Medal. “Everybody says that getting the experience of going up there and competing, seeing how tough the competition is, is an important step in the process of being able to go up there and succeed. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”

“He’s worked really hard to reach this point in his high school career,” said Ryan. “Hopefully he can go up there this weekend and do something great.”

Ryan actually took four other Springs wrestlers with him to Jensen Beach but none, Ussama Malik (113 lbs.), Ernesto Tendero (120 lbs.), David Sanchez (126 lbs.) or Jose Martinez (160 lbs.) was able to place in the top four in their respective weight classes which is where they needed to finish to make it to Lakeland.

Read more River Cities stories from the Miami Herald

WHAT'S NEXT?: The former bridal path through the middle of the old James Medical Center property was the subject of the April 8 referendum on the sale of golf course property that did not pass leaving the question of what will local architect and property owner Manny Perez-Vichot.

    Local Miami Springs architects ponder next move after referendum fails to pass

    The “no” vote on the Miami Springs golf course referendum took place more than two weeks ago, but it is still heavy on the minds of Manny Perez-Vichot and Enrique Aguerrevere and both had plenty to lose when 53 percent of the voters did not approve the sale of less than one-quarter of an acre of golf course property, and they are undecided about what to do next.

CLUTCH HITTER: Miami Springs senior Austin Voeller contributed to the Hawks district semifinal win over Norland on Monday with a base hit and an RBI.

    Miami Springs baseball team tops Norland in district semifinal contest

    Thanks to a great pitching performance from David Cervantes, the Miami Springs Golden Hawks baseball team qualified for the regional playoffs for the first time in five years when the Hawks knocked off Norland 3-1 in a district semifinal contest at Shelly Dunkel Field on Monday afternoon and will take on Goleman on Thursday for the district title.

Michel Escoto stands as the jurors leave the courtroom on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. He was accused of murdering his new wife for a $1 million insurance policy and found guilty of first-degree murder.

    Criminal courts

    Escoto convicted in murder of new bride for life insurance money

    Miami-Dade jurors deliberated less than three hours to convict Michel Escoto in 2002 slaying of Wendy Trapaga, who was strangled and beaten to death with a tire iron.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK