South Dade, which will attempt to win its seventh consecutive state wrestling title this Friday and Saturday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, is coming off a dominant weekend.
On Saturday, the Bucs won the Region 4-3A title at Braddock High, posting 295 points, which was more than 60 points better than second-place Southwest.
The Bucs qualified 13 of their 14 wrestlers for state. Individually, the Bucs had seven region champs, four runners-up and two third-place finishers.
South Dade’s seven champs are: sophomore Adrian Morales (106 pounds); sophomore Alex Couto (120); junior Adrian Neco (132); freshman Cordell White (138); senior Bretli Reyna (145); senior Steven Villalobos (160); and senior Tanaveius Shropshire (220).
Reyna will be going for his fourth consecutive state title. He and Villalobos are ranked No. 1 in the state in their classes.
“We’ve set ourselves up nicely for state,” Bucs coach Victor Balmeceda said.
Southwest also did a great job, especially considering that the Eagles are in the same region as the powerhouse Bucs. Southwest qualified 10 wrestlers for state, tying a school record.
The Eagles also broke a school record by producing five regional champions: freshman 113-pounder Danny Martinez, who is 64-0; junior 126-pounder Sebastian Melguizo, a two-time state-placer looking for his first state title; senior 170-pounder Adrian Vidaud, who is a returning state champ; senior 182-pounder George Llanes; and junior 195-pounder Jeremiah Mauras.
“George and Jeremiah are competing up a few classes to help the team,” Southwest coach Mick Arteaga said. “They are giving up 15 to 20 pounds to their opponents each match. But heart beats size.”
Southwest wrestlers also went 4-1 in their finals against South Dade opponents. At 126 pounds, Melguizo defeated Jose Gonzalez, 9-3. At 170, Vidaud beat Bryan Valdes, 7-4. At 182, Llanes beat Daniel Espino-Delgado, 4-2. And at 195, Mauras beat Alejandro Gonzalez, 5-2.
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South Dade’s Neco pinned Southwest’s Daniel Cabrera at 132 for the Bucs’ only head-to-head finals win over the Eagles.
Another interesting note: Jose Gonzalez and Bryan Valdes were both Southwest students before transferring to South Dade last year.
Outside of South Dade/Southwest, the only other champs at this event were Doral 152-pounder Sawyer Bartelt and Krop heavyweight Isaac Joseph.
Bartelt defeated Southwest’s Brandon Moreno 12-4. Joseph pinned North Miami’s Clarouly Meca.
Bartelt, who is just an eighth-grader, finished fifth at state last year and has won various national titles for his age group.
“He just turned 14, and he’s been wrestling since he was four,” said Alexis De Armas, who is turning around Doral’s program in just his second year as coach.
Perhaps Bartelt’s biggest win at this event was in the semifinals, against South Dade’s Joshua Swan, who is ranked No. 1 in the state. Bartelt beat him, 5-4, in triple overtime, which meant nearly 10 minutes (9:30) of intense wrestling.
“Six minutes in wrestling is a long time – 9:30 is really long,” said De Armas, who is assisted by his older brother, Willy. “But Sawyer is really composed and mature for his age.”
Team standings: 1: South Dade 295; 2: Southwest 230.5; 3: Cypress Bay 127; 4: Doral 116.5; 5: Columbus 97; 6: Miami Beach 79; 7: Palmetto 67; 8: North Miami 64; 9: Coral Park 55; 10: Coral Reef 45.
▪ Ferguson 3, Varela 0: The Falcons used three pitchers to throw a shutout. Ozzie Martinez struck out Ehinger Adrianza to finish off the game. Adrian Fleites earned the victory. He allowed two hits over four innings, striking out five. Christian Suastegui and Martinez helped to close out the game. Martinez recorded the last two outs to earn the save. Anthony Lopez led Ferguson with three hits.
▪ Palmetto 5, Coral Reef 4: Olivia Rapp 4 for 5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI; Cassie Martinez 2-6 with 2 hits and1 RBI and drove in the winning run. WP: Alexis Ortega (1-0). Palmetto 3-0.
▪ Krop 6, Miami Country Day 1: 1-Gabriela Rondon K d. Alexi Bassette MCD 8-4; 2-Ayami Maehama K d. Gabby Bassette MCD 8-4; 3-Monique Lima K d. Lucia Burton MCD 8-2; 4-Ginella Grimes K d. Brooke Kovacks MCD 8-4; 5-Galit Beraja K d. Nina Vara MCD 8-3; Doubles 1-Rondon-Maehama K d. Bassette - Burton MCD 8-4; 2- Bassette Salazar MCD d. Lima - Lotter 8-4. Krop 3-0.
▪ Carrollton 7, Westminster 0: 1. Jimena Menendez won 8-1; 2. Cecilia Swain 8-0; 3. Alessandra Diamond 8-0. Carrollton 1-0.
▪ Krop 6, Miami Country Day 1: 1- Sebastian Rondon K d. Morgan Weinberg MCD 9-8; 2- Andrés Escalona K d. Jackson Haliuel MCD 8-3; 3- Abraham Shaoul K d. Max Casteńan MCD 8-3; 4- Andres Wolf K d. Lila Donayre MCD 8-4; 5- Simon González K d. Oscar Goncalves MCD; Doubles 1-Rondon - Escalona K d Weisberg - Halliuel MCD 8-6; 2- Chemla- Calfa MCD d. Shaoul -Irwanto K Krop ret). Krop 3-0.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
▪ Miami High 12, Coral Gables 10: Marin Stern 6 goals, Eddie Villatoro 3 goals (Miami); Esteban Meza 5 goals (Coral Gables).
▪ Columbus d. St. Brendan 3-0 (25-9, 25-7, 25-14): Ignacio Brito 10 kills, 4 aces; Gabriel Garcia 3 kills, 27 assist, 5 digs; Tito Heinert 6 kills, 3 blocks. Columbus 3-0.
▪ Braddock def. Pace 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-23): Manuel Leon 8 kills, 5 aces; John-Marcos Gonzalez 9 kills, 1 ace; Ryan Oreth-Leal 13 asst, 2 aces. Record 1-2.