Team Pinellas defended its crown at the 4th Annual Pinellas vs. Pasco All-Star Wrestling Dual Meet on Thursday night with a convincing 45-15 win.
“I think it's a great event and it's nice for the kids who are seniors,” said Palm Harbor University coach and event coordinator Brad Sakevich. “It's the last time they will ever wrestle in county with kids they grew up with.”
Team Pinellas wrestlers won the evening's first five bouts and nine out of 13 in all. The 220-pound weight class was wrestled between two Pinellas County athletes because Pasco's representative, Gulf's Kenny Hayes, did not show.
Although Team Pinellas posted a dominant final score, many of its victories were closely contested.
Tim Sakow (PHU) and Dominick Telesco (Land O' Lakes) got the event off to a solid start with their 106-pound match. Sakow jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead after one period, but Telesco proved his mettle by posting a furious comeback before eventually running out of time and dropping in a 10-9 decision.
It was one of many highlight matches and moments Thursday night in the PHU gymnasium.
Topping that list was an intense showdown between PHU's Mike May and Wesley Chapel's 120-pound state champion Tony Ruggiero. After avoiding a pin at the end of the first period, May fought his way to a 4-2 victory.
“It was definitely a tough match,” May said of the bout wrestled at 132 pounds. “In the first period people were saying I was in danger but I really never felt in danger. I knew where I was and where I was going to be the whole time. I just really wanted to get that win.
“These two weeks I've trained pretty hard just to beat him. I got robbed from him two years ago when I was wrestling him [at the Nature Coast Duals] and lost by a point. Tonight I really wanted to beat him. That was my main goal to get the job done.”
May's victory also stuck out in Sakevich's mind as the night's top bout. “I though Mikey May did an outstanding job beating a state champ. That's a nice way for a senior to go out in his home gym. I was really proud of him.”
Although he did not win his match, Largo's state runner-up Derrick Doss (182 pounds) attempted to pull off Thursday night's most exciting maneuver. Taking on Fivay's Collin Hahn, also a state runner-up, Doss went for a “flying squirrel” takedown by leaping right overtop of Hahn while trying to wrap him up and bring him to the mat. The tactic certainly caught Hahn off guard, but Doss wasn't able to take control of his competitor and keep him down. Hahn eventually won by a 7-2 decision.
The meet's most decorated wrestler, PHU's Jared Prince (120 pounds), pulled through with a third-period pin of a game John Galvin (Wesley Chapel). Prince, who received a plaque at the start of the event for becoming the Hurricanes' first-ever state champion this year, led comfortably 12-0 at the time of his pin at the 5:26 mark.
Prince's brother Connor followed at 126 pounds with a 7-1 defeat of Gulf's Anthony Agazarm.
Team Pasco notched its first win at 138 pounds when Pasco High's Niko DeAugustino pulled off a 2-1 overtime victory against Dunedin's Alex Lebhar. The state qualifiers wrestled to a 0-0 draw through three periods and a 1-minue sudden victory overtime period before DeAugustino scored a takedown in the first of two 30-second tiebreaker periods. Lebhar halved that deficit with a point in the second tiebreaker but could not recover in time.
DeAugustino's victory began a run of three straight Pasco High wins for Team Pasco. Skyler White beat PHU's Tucker Hardwick at 145 pounds and T.J. Maple pinned PHU's Gunner Hurst in 2:41.
White's 3-2 win over Hardwick also needed extra periods and Sakevich said those are the types of contests that should be expected at an all-star event.
“I was impressed with Skyler from Pasco. He wrestled a great match against Tucker Hardwick. That was a great bout and that's the way it should be when we get the all-stars together. There were some overtime bouts and it was a lot of fun.”
Host PHU was again well-represented on this year's Team Pinellas roster, with eight wrestlers earning inclusion. Another Hurricane, Tyler Orgera, also wrestled at 220 pounds in the place of Gulf's Kenny Hayes and beat Pinellas County champion Brandon Mayhorne of St. Petersburg, 3-2.
106 – Tim Sakow (PHU) over Dominick Telesco (Land O' Lakes), 10-9 dec.
113 – Anthony Mena (PHU) over Jarred Lanier (Wiregrass Ranch), 2-0 dec.
120 – Jared Prince (PHU) over Jon Galvin (Wesley Chapel), Pin (5:26)
126 – Connor Prince (PHU) over Anthony Agazarm (Gulf), 7-2 dec.
132 – Mike May (PHU) over Tony Ruggiero (Wesley Chapel), 4-2 dec.
138 – Niko DeAugustino (Pasco) over Alex Lebhar (Dunedin), 2-1 dec. (OT)
145 – Skyler White (Pasco) over Tucker Hardwick (PHU), 3-2 dec. (OT)
152 – T.J. Maple (Pasco) over Gunner Hurst (PHU), Pin (2:41)
160 – Aaron Hartman (PHU) over Max Reynolds (River Ridge), Pin (3:44)
170 – Louis Aldana (Dixie Hollins) over Jared Kruse (Gulf), Pin (1:42)
182 – Collin Hahn (Fivay) over Derrick Doss (Largo), 7-2 dec.
195 – Danny Bergstrom (Largo) over Gary Garcia (Land O' Lakes), Pin (5:10)
220 – Tyler Orgera (PHU) over Brandon Mayhorne (St. Petersburg), 3-2 dec.
HWT – Kenny McGhee (St. Petersburg) over Kelly Meus (Fivay), 3-1 dec.