Senior Chris Williams echoed the sentiments of his fellow Cardinal Gibbons wrestlers Saturday night at the Pompano Beach gym.
“I know how hard I’ve worked for this so I’m confident I will win,” Williams said.
Williams and Michael Lopouchanski, also a senior, kept their unbeaten seasons going as they led the Chiefs to their third BCAA team championship in the past four seasons and 14th overall.
Gibbons scored 337.5 points to finish ahead of rival St. Thomas Aquinas’ 295. Everglades (142), Coral Springs (131) and Cooper City (129) rounded out the top five.
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Gibbons had six individual county champions overall and placed a wrestler in the top eight in each weight class.
“I’m extremely proud of them, and this is a team that will bring back a lot of wrestlers next year,” Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo said. “We still have to make a few tweaks before state, but we’re in good shape.”
Williams (220 pounds) and Lopouchanski (182 pounds) each secured their second BCAA title in a row. Gabriel Gibson won his second in the past three seasons in the 126-pound weight class. Joey Lopez prevailed at 138, Johnathan Campos won at 160 and Dave Small secured the 195-pound title via forfeit against Aquinas’ Josiah Gittman, who withdrew because of an ankle injury.
Runner-up Aquinas had three individual champions.
Senior Steven Moreno won his second in a row when he pinned Cooper City’s Nick Luna for the 120-pound title. Senior Bryce Marcus also repeated as champ by winning at 160 pounds.
Junior Grant Aranoff won his third BCAA crown in a row with a victory over Gibbons’ Amadeus Concepcion.
Cooper City’s Connor Jones defeated Concepcion’s brother, Adonis, to win the 152-pound title a year after losing to Amadeus in the final.
South Broward’s Anthony and Andrew Valverde each won their first BCAA titles with victories at 106 and 113, respectively.
Cypress Bay’s Ignacio Fuertes won his first BCAA title with a dramatic 4-3 win over St. Thomas’ Gianni Guereriero at 132. Fuertes had lost in the final round the previous two seasons.
The BCAA honored the annual inductees to the Broward County Wrestling Hall of Fame. They were McArthur coach Mike Zarra; former Chaminade and Miramar coach Nathanael Richardson; former Cardinal Gibbons wrestler Armand Algarin; BCAA County Athletic Director Rocky Gillis; McArthur football coach and wrestling official LaRon Culpepper; and Don Jackson, a wrestling official who wrestled in college and in high school at Miami Carol City.
Team standings: 1. Cardinal Gibbons 337.5; 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 295; 3. Everglades 142; 4. Coral Springs 131; 5. Cooper City 129; 6. McArthur 111.5; 7. Cypress Bay 109; 8. Plantation 98.5; 9. Nova 94; 10. South Broward 93.5.
Championship finals – 106: Anthony Valverde (SB) maj. dec. John-James Yancy (CG) 15-0; 113: Andrew Valverde (SB) dec. Raiden Johnson (CS) 10-3; 120: Steven Moreno (STA) pin Nick Luna (CC) 1:38; 126: Gabriel Gibson (CG) dec. Nikolas Chitty (CG) 12-7; 132: Ignacio Fuertes (CB) dec. Gianni Guereriero (STA) 4-3; 138: Joey Lopez (CG) maj. dec. Vinny Sessa (STA) 16-7; 145: Grant Aranoff (STA) tech Amadeus Concepcion (CG) 18-3; 152: Connor Jones (CC) dec. Adonis Concepcion (CG) 9-6; 160: Bryce Marcus (STA) tech Jahmahr Hyacinthe (Nova) 17-1; 170: Johnathan Campos (CG) dec. Augustine Smith (STA) 6-1; 182: Michael Lopouchanski (CG) tech Smiley Campbell (CS) 19-3; 195: Dave Small (CG) d. Josiah Gittman (STA) forfeit; 220: Chris Williams (CG) pin Henry Morar (WES) 5:54; HWT: Deandre Carr (STR) pin John Pope (STA), 1:38.
Consolation finals – 106: Jacob Swartz (CC) pin Andru-Jae Khan (McA) 4:34; 113: Nadhelo (EVER) dec. Donovan Ortiz (STA) 10-7; 120: Brandon Silvestre (HH) dec. Steve Erched (Doug) 8-3; 126: Chrisley Accime (CS) dec. Brandon Font (PL) 13-5; 132: Nyell Sanchez (PL) dec. Kyle Thompson (CC) 5-3; 138: Zain Cruz (MON) dec. Austin Arsenic (EVER) 7-2; 145: Liam Jones (CC) dec. Kameron Maynard (HAL) 8-7; 152: Dervens Marseilles (McA) dec. Johnson Emmanuel (EVER) 8-3; 160: Osvani Ley (CG) dec. Daniel Collazo (WB) 12-4; 170: Sam Senatus (FTL) dec. Dudley Bonhomme (PLAN) 5-3; 182: Ryan Maine (STA) dec. Chris Smith (MIR) 3-1; 195: Gustavo Antencio (EVER) dec. Jevado McNabb (MON) 5-1; 220: Hansky Paillant (McA) pin Matthew Toribio (CB); HWT: Sherrod McBride (BA) pin Andrew Dennis (PLAN).