High School Sports

South Dade overwhelming favorite to bring home another state wrestling title

South Dade wrestlers, your coronation awaits.

That crowning – barring a monumental upset – is set for this weekend at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, where the Bucs are expected to win their fourth straight Class 3A state title, their 12th overall.

No Miami-Dade or Broward wrestling program has ever won four straight at state … until, likely, now.

“They would have to have a major meltdown not to win state,” St. Thomas Aquinas coach Robert Wimberley said. “The reality is that there are about four schools, us included, who are in the hunt for runners-up.”

Wimberley mentioned Miami schools Southwest and Southridge among those programs that could finish as high as second.

South Dade and coach Vic Balmeceda are coming off a 4-3A regional in which they nearly redefined the word dominant. The Bucs advanced 12 of their 14 wrestlers, winning 10 regional titles.

They routed runner-up Southwest by 108 points, and they will enter Silver Spurs Arena on Friday with three defending state champs: Kyron Taylor at 285 pounds, Chei Hill (220) and Elijah Varona (113).

“Before our district tournament, I challenged our guys to set themselves apart from previous teams,” Balmeceda said. “I wanted them to break records and create their own legacy.

“Well, challenge accepted. Since that speech, all they have done is shatter records. We put 13 of 14 in district finals, for example.

“This weekend, I’m hoping the streak continues and the boys break a few more records, mainly that elusive fourth consecutive state title.”

Aquinas, which qualified eight wrestlers for state, including five champs in its region, has had to overcome an injury to its 40-win heavyweight, John Pope, who will miss state due to a broken right foot.

“The good news is that he is only a sophomore,” Wimberley said. “We’ll get him back for the next two years.”

Aquinas is hoping to crown two individuals as state champs. Senior Josiah Gittman, who suffered a broken foot in November, came back before districts and is 18-0 this season. And Grant Arronoff, a junior 138-pounder, is 49-3.

Both are defending state champs, and Arronoff also won a national title this past summer.

Aquinas is also taking six other wrestlers to state: sophomore 113-pounder Donovan Ortiz (40-13); senior 120-pounder Stephen Moreno (45-5, fourth at state last year); sophomore 126-pounder Gianni Gerreriero (38-9); junior 132-pounder Vinny Sessa (45-5, fifth at state last year); senior 152-pounder Bryce Marcus (41-3, fourth at state); and senior 160-pounder Augustine Smith (36-6).

“We’ve done all we can do so far,” Wimberley said. “We just don’t have the numbers South Dade has.”

In Class 1A, Lake Highland Prep is favored to win, but Broward power Cardinal Gibbons has a shot to challenge.

“We’d have to do everything perfectly perfect to beat them,” Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo said of Lake Highland. “That’s possible. But, more than likely, the battle is for second place.”

Gibbons, which went 26-0 in dual meets this year, also won county, district and regional titles, advancing 11 wrestlers to state.

“We should have taken all 14, but we made some mistakes,” Pettineo said. “We have an inexperienced but talented team.”

Gibbons is led by its two undefeated wrestlers, 195-pounder Christopher Williams and 182-pounder Michael Lopouchanski, both 38-0.

Williams was a state runner-up last season. Lopouchanski finished fourth.

Gibbons also has two other regional champs: Amadeaus Concepcion at 145 pounds and Osvani Ley at 160.LEDE

VOLLEYBALL

Gulliver announced Thursday it has hired Alan Obrador as its new volleyball coach. Obrador recently served as the Doral Volleyball Academy technical director, and has coached various professional and club teams across Puerto Rico and Florida.

“I am very lucky to become part of a great school like Gulliver,” Obrador said. “My goals are to be competitive from day one, and with hard work, we will compete at the level that I expect from our student-athletes.”

ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ

BASEBALL

▪ Brito 3, Westwood 2: WP: Hector Garcia (1-1). LP: Sabbatier. SV: Yoanny Carrizo 2-4, RBI, 2 IP. BM (3-1): Onelio Perdomo 1-3, HR, 2 RBI. Jefrey Rodriguez 1-3, RBI.

▪ Miami Beach 3, Coral Park 0: Nolan Santos H, CG, 6 K’s, 3 BB. Emanuel Arias 2 RBI, 2B. Jonathan Vasallo RBI, 2B.

▪ Archbishop Carroll 3, Sagemont 0: WP: Paolo Maldonado (2-0) 6.2 IP, 5 K’s, 4 BB. SV: Rey Gonce. ACC (3-0): Ryan Pereda 2-3, 3B, R. Sal Lorenzo 2-3, 2B, R. Chris Fernandez RBI.

▪ Mourning 14, North Miami Beach 4: WP: Fabian Ortega (2-0), 5 IP, 10 K’s, 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 SB.. LP: Cicci. ATM (4-1): Nelson Parra 2-4, 2 RBI, R, 2 SB. Jose Marquez 1-3, 3 R, SB.

▪ Miami High 6, South Miami 3: WP: Ivan Rivera 1-1. LP: Michel Cabo. Enrique Rivero 2-4, HR, RBI, 3R. Yiovanni Matias 2-3, R, RBI. Chris Howkins 2-2. MIA 1-4 (1-1).

▪ Palmetto 10, Gulliver 1: WP: Andrew Schreiber (4-0) 4 IP, 3 K’s. LP: Ross Husband. PAL (4-0): Nick Deegan 2-4, 3B, R, 3 RBI. Dickson Aburto 2-2, 4 RBI. Austin Taylor 2-3, 2 R.

▪ Jackson 6, Hialeah Miami Lakes 1: WP: Luis Pullido 7 IP, R, 6 K’s, CG. Panama Mendez 3B. Yohan Rosales 2-3, 2 RBI, 2B. Gabriel Mendez 1-3, 2B, RBI. JAX 2-3.

▪ Columbus 6, South Dade 0: WP: Chris Gonzalez 11 K’s. Edward Doskow 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 1B. Kevin Acosta 2-2, 1B, 2B.

WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS

▪ Hialeah 12, Hialeah Gardens 2: WP: Mario Morales (1-0). LP: Iroel Ruiz. HIA (1-2): Gregory Rosario 3-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB. Alexander Alvarez 2-2 3B, 2 RBI. Eduardo Brito 2-3, RBI. HG 1-4.

▪ Florida Christian 12, Ransom Everglades 2: WP: Matthew Fernandez. Sebastian Lopez 2-3. Kevin Vittoria 2-2. FC 3-0.

▪ Somerset 11, Cardinal Gibbons: WP: Miguel Useche (1-0) 3 IP, 3K’s, H, BB, 0R, 1-1, 2B, 3RBI, R. LP: Timothy Manning (0-2). SOM (4-1): Jordan Carrion 1-2, 3 RBI. R, BB. Kevin Iber 2-2, 2 RBI, 2 R. CG 2-3.

▪ South Dade 11, Coral Gables 1: WP: Yami Chavarria (2-0) 3 IP, 0R, 1H, 5K. SD (4-0). David Garcia 1-2, 2B, 3 RBI. Lenox Verdecia 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI. CG 1-3.

▪ Pine Crest 14, Coral Springs Charter 3: WP: Jordan Schulefand 2B, 2 3B, 2R, 10 K’s, 2 BB. Ryan Keenan 5-5, 3 1B, 2B, 3B, 5 R. Matt Fine 4 RBI, 3-5. Mike Rothenberg 1B, HR, 3RBI. Jared deFaria 3 H, 2 2B, 3 R.

SOFTBALL

▪ American 17, Hialeah Gardens 2: WP: Ashley Alfonso (4-1), 3 IP, 3 K’s. L: Jonayra. AME (4-1): Karla Soza 2-3, HR, 2B, RBI, 3 R. Tyenna Colon 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Alexis Guzman 2-2, 2 2B, R, BB.

▪ Douglas 4, Western 1: WP: Gianna Lovito (7-0). LP: L. Rivera. Alina Varga 3-3, RBI. GIanna Lovito 1-2, RBI.

▪ Coral Reef 17, Southridge 1: WP: Brianna Romaguera (1-0), 3 K’s, CG. Brianna Romaguera 4-4, 4 RBI. Gigi Stouffer 1-2, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R. Jada Harris 2-3, 3 RBI. Zaari Colon 1-2, 2 RBI. Janessa Casanas 2-3, 3 R. Danielle Boyd 2-3, 2 R. CR 6-0.

▪ Goleman 15, Jackson 5: WP: Nat Costero 6K's (3-0). GOL (7-1): Nat Costero 3-4, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI. Adirana Bueno 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI. Summer Guzman 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI.

▪ Coral Gables 16, Miami Beach 0: WP: Angie Bonilla (1-0), 3 IP, 0H, BB, 6 K's, 3-3, 3B, 2B, 3 RBI, R. Rebecca Rodriguez 2-2, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 R. Ali Bonilla 1-1, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, 3 R, SB. CG 3-0.

▪ Mourning 23, Hialeah Miami Lakes 5: WP: B. Gomez 2-2. B. Gomez 2-3, 5 RBI. Dreispul 1-1, 2 RBI. ATM 3-2.

▪ Lourdes 11, Ferguson 2: WP: Nora Zubillaga 4-1. Catherine Ullivarri 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R. Gianna Delandaburu 2-3, RBI, 2 R. Nicole Gonzalez 3-4, RBI, 2 R.

▪ St. Thomas 15, Plantation 0: WP: Katlin King perfect game. Jeyda Brodie 3-3, 2 RBI. Kaylie Wilcox 3-3. Madison Santana 2-3, 2 RBI.

▪ Mater Academy 14, Central 1: WP: Karina Londono. Maria Barranco 2-3, 2 3B, 3 RBI. Arianna Machado 2-3. Alyze Gonzalez 4-4. Rebecca Alvarez 3-3, 2B, 2 1B.

▪ Doral 15, TERRA 0: WP: Amanda Aragon (2-1). Janelle Figueroa 1-2, HR, 3RBI. Alexa Sanchez 2-3, 2B, 3B, 2RBI. Amanda Ramirez 2-2, BB, 2 3B, 4 RBI.

BOYS’ VOLLEYBALL

▪ Cardinal Gibbons d. Pompano Beach (25-5, 25-17, 25-17): Jt Martin 4 points, 3 aces, 7 kills. Mark Cataldo 4 points, 2 aces, 5 digs, 5 kills, 2 assists.

▪  Pine Crest d. American Heritage Plantation (25-10, 25-11, 25-16): Ben Brody 11 kills. Owen Scrudders 25 assists. Sebastian Bell 7 kills.

▪ Columbus d. Sunset (19-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21): Logan Plummer 17 kills, 13 digs, 4 aces. Michael Fernandez 9 kills, 3 digs, 3 aces. Juan Diaz 36 assists, 3 aces, 8 digs. COL 2-0.

▪ Monarch d. Cypress Bay (25-14, 20-25, 25-17, 25-13): Kyle Freitas 8 kills, 5 blocks. Kyle Robertson 25 assists, 12 points, 2 aces, 5 kills, 3 blocks, 7 digs. Sean Drexl 11 kills, 8 points. MON 2-0.

TENNIS

BOYS’ TENNIS

▪ Coral Reef 4, Columbus 0: 1. Thomas Barraque 8-3. 2. David Vasserman 9-8(7-4). 3. Simon Galvis 8-2. Stefan Araujo 8-5.

▪ Ransom Everglades 6, Palmer Trinity 1: 1. JM Holtmann 8-2. 2. Grant Dill 8-0. 3. Pat Visan 8-5. 4. Neil Daiksel 8-1. RE 3-1.

WATER POLO

GIRLS’ RESULTS

▪ South Broward 20, South Plantation 7: Madison Martinez 3 goals, 3 assists, 8 steals. Mia Leto 2 goals, 2 assists, 7 steals. Emma Leto 4 goals, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks.

BOYS’ RESULTS

▪ South Broward 16, South Plantation 3: Cody Jones 4 goals, assist, 5 steals, block. Oakley Skove 3 assists, 4 steals, block. Brennan Doak goal. Patricio Duran goal. Dane Stannish goal.

LACROSSE

▪ Cooper City 12, University School 4: CC (6-1): Natalia Aguirre 6 saves, 6 interceptions. Amanda Rivas 6 goals, assist. Florence Andrieu 3 goals, 2 assists. Crystal Williams 2 goals. Kasey Allen 4 ground balls. US: Nicole Steiner 3 goals. Peri Shechtman goal. Emma Roberts assist. Jordyn Epstein 7 saves.

▪ St Thomas 18, Heritage Plantation 1: Sophia Savaglio 2 goals. Carly Steinlauf 3 goals, 3 assists, 4 draw controls. Kaitlyn Michaud 4 caused turnovers, assist

State wrestling finals

When: Friday-Saturday.

Where: Silver Spurs Arena, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee.

Admission: $9 per session with advanced tickets, $12 at the gate.

Parking: $7 per car, $14 per bus.

2016 state champions — Class 3A: South Dade; 2A: Brandon; 1A: Orlando Lake Highland Prep.

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