High School Sports

South Dade wrestling owns region, will seek 11th state title

South Dade’s Ozzy Lugo won a region title despite a separated right shoulder, Southridge’s Randy McCray won his championship by overcoming a seven-point deficit, and Southwest’s Franco Valdes knocked off a defending state champ.

Those were among the individual highlights as the Region 4-3A tournament concluded at Everglades High on Saturday.

As for the team title, that went to two-time defending Class 3A state champ South Dade, which totaled 209.5 points to hold off its biggest challengers, Southridge (190) and Southwest (175.5).

South Dade, which will go for its 11th state title next week in Kissimmee, crowned five region champs: junior Elijah Varona at 106 pounds, Lugo (145), sophomore Corey Harvey (182), junior Chei Hill (195) and junior Kyron Taylor (285).

Lugo, the only senior of the group, said he separated his shoulder in December but has opted not to miss a single match or tournament this season.

"I’m not going to lie and say I feel great – I don’t," said Lugo, who will be going for his third straight individual state title. "But the obstacles God puts in front of me, I have to overcome them. I’m struggling, but I feel good enough to win another state title."

Lugo said his shoulder popped out twice in his 7-2 win over Southwest’s Angel Delcueto.

Southwest had some tough luck on Saturday, losing four regional finals. In addition to Delcueto, Southwest wrestlers also lost in the final at 113, 120 and 195 pounds.

The Eagles, though, did crown two champs – Valdes at 126 and Alex Urquiza, a sophomore 132-pounder who won his first region title.

"At state, last year I got a little nervous and didn’t place," Urquiza said. "Today, I took what was mine."

Urquiza said he feels Southwest is "a powerhouse" that is being overlooked.

"We’re like a mafia," Urquiza said. "If you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us."

No one hurt Valdes on Saturday as he knocked off defending state champ Jordan Marshall of Southridge in a double-overtime region final. Marshall is 4-2 this season against Valdes, who is a two-time state champ.

"It’s most likely that we will meet again at state," Valdes said.

Despite Southridge’s disappointment with Marshall losing, the Spartans emerged with five regional champs, including McCray, who rallied to beat Southwest’s Alaen Gonzalez 12-11.

"I plan to win state this year," said McCray, a senior who was a runner-up at 106 last season. "I was cutting too much weight last year. This year, I’m at 120. I’ve got strength. I’ve got speed. Nothing can stop me this year."

Top 10 Teams — 1: South Dade 209.5; 2: Southridge 190; 3: Southwest 175.5; 4: Columbus 109.5; 5: Cypress Bay 82; 6: Braddock 71.5; 7: Miami Beach 69.5; 8: Cooper City 65; 9: Coral Gables 62; 10: Killian 61.

Region Finals — 106: Varona (SD) d. Boncamper (KIL) fall 3:13; 113: Victor (BR) d. Perez (SW) 3-2; 120: McCray (SRidge) d. Gonzalez (SW) 12-11; 126: Valdes (SW) d. Marshall (SRidge) 9-6; 132: Urquiza (SW) d. Abreu (CP) 2-0; 138: Kinsey (SRidge) d. Bentley (COL) 6-3; 145: Lugo (SD) d. Delcueto (SW) 7-2; 152: Perez (SRidge) d. Lopez (BR) 9-6; 160: Rios (SRidge) d. Nogradi (EVER) injury; 170: Chery (NM) d. Kaercher (CReef) fall 1:29; 182: Harvey (SD) d. Williams (H.Hills) 4-0; 195: Hill (SD) d. Sotolongo (SW) 4-2; 220: Hamilton (SRidge) d. Mentor (KIL) disqualification; 285: Taylor (SD) d. Juedy (SRidge) fall 1:22.