By Chuck Ballaro, Sun Correspondent
CAPE CORAL – It was a battle between the Lely and Lemon Bay High School wrestling teams Saturday at the District 1A-12 wrestling championships at Oasis High School as they wrestled tooth and nail for every point.
And it would be the Manta Rays who would come out on top as they edged the Trojans in the team standings 187.5 to 170.5, with four wrestlers being crowned district champs and 11 of their 12 wrestlers making it to regionals next week.
“Our goal was to get our guys going into the finals. The more we put there the more we go forward,” Lemon Bay coach Michael Schyck said. “We only brought 12 and seven made it to the finals. That’s a huge success.”
Tyler Brady (113), Albert Werden (120), Mark Towers (160) and Michael Morales (285) earned district championships, with the latter three winning by pinfall.
Towers needed just 24 seconds to take down home-mat favorite Alex Sacremento, while Werden pinned Imagine’s Kyle Garoutte in 1:09, overcoming an early takedown with a reversal and pin.
Morales pinned Collin Duncan of Southwest Florida Christian, using his opponent’s weight against him to win.
“I found my way around the weight and got him down without having to lift him,” Morales said. “I put a Half-Nelson on him. Sooner or later his neck will give out and he can’t fight it.”
Brady had perhaps the wildest match, coming back from 5-1 down to get several near pins to outlast Neverteson Lahens of Immokalee 15-11.
Brady said after an easy pin the last time they faced off, he may have been overconfident and it nearly cost him.
“All the training I’ve done and pushing myself through the hard times in matches,” Brady said. “I pinned him the last time we met, but he came out motivated and almost beat me. I wasn’t expecting it.”
Bradley Fuson (126), Tripp Lytle (132) and Payton Binns (170) lost their finals matches, all by decision.
Jared Dilley (138), Kyle Shaw (152) and Brock Lavallee (220) finished third. Coby Pickering lost the consolation match to finish fourth, also earning a regional berth.
It was also a good meet for Imagine, which finished fifth as a team and placed a pair, Garoutte (120) and seventh-grader Gannon Wertz (106), into the finals. Both lost by pinfall.
“We’re a relatively young school, but we pushed six into regionals last year and five this year,” Imagine coach Rob McCabe said. “We have a lot of little guys and they go in and get better and better, and it showed today.”
Jacob Labell (113) and Quinn White (126) won their third-place matches. Jacob Wilmoth (160) also advanced to regionals.
District 1A-12 Wrestling Championships
At Oasis High School
Lemon Bay 187.5, Lely 170.5, Immokalee 124, Dunbar 74.5, Imagine 66, Oasis 61, Labelle 48.5, Clewiston 45.5, Evangelical Christian 30, Southwest Florida Christian 23
106: Matthew Malavski (ECS) d. Gannon Wertz (IMA) pin 5:48, 3rd: Roche Pierre (IMM); 113: Tyler Brady (LB) d. Neverteson Lahens (IMM) 15-11, 3rd: Jacob LaBell (IMA); 120: Albert Werden (LB) d. Kyle Garouette (IMA) pin 1:09, 3rd: Jean St. Fleur (IMM); 126: Gabriel Ramirez (IMM) d. Bradley Fuson (LB) 9-2, 3rd: Quinn White (IMA); 132: Josh Sheldon (LEL) d. Tripp Lytle (LB) 8-4, 3rd: Alex Metcalf (ECS);
138: Daylon Hutchins (DUN) d. Nicolas Turrubiartez (IMM) pin 1:27, 3rd: Jarrod Dilley (LB); 145: Jahreece Murphy (CLE) d. Herlan Henriquez (LEL) pin 3:12, 3rd: Sergio Trevino (LAB); 152: Marcus Stanley (DUN) d. Marlon Moreta (LEL) 7-2, 3rd: Kyle Shaw (LB); 160: Mark Towers (LB) d. Alex Sacremento (OAS) pin :24, 3rd: Miguel Vidaurri (IMM);
170: Jacob Stephenson (LEL) d. Peyton Binns (LB) 5-2, 3rd: Terry Revels (LAB); 182: Christopher Leiva (OAS) d. Tomas Schultheis (LEL) 4-1, 3rd: Mario Hernandez (LAB); 195: Kevin Chery (LEL) d. Eduardo Fox (CLE) pin 1:42, 3rd: George Minervini (OAS); 220: Judas McKenzie (DUN) d. Mark English (LEL) pin :37, 3rd: Brock Lavallee (LB); 285: Michael Morales (LB) d. Collin Duncan (SFC) pin 2:58, 3rd: Jimmy Duran (LEL).