Canes send 11 into finals, win six titles
By Eric Horchy | Suncoast NewsPALM HARBOR - Host Palm Harbor University entered this weekend’s Pinellas County Athletic Conference as a heavy favorite to defend last year’s title and the Hurricanes did not disappoint.
Published: January 26, 2013
Published: January 26, 2013
PHU placed 14 wrestlers overall and 11 into Saturday afternoon’s finals, with six taking individual championships.
The ‘Canes easily outpaced their competition. By the time quarterfinal bouts were finished, PHU had already secured the team title. The county's top program won with a total score of 321.5, placing it ahead of Dixie Hollins (172), East Lake (142), Largo (139) and Countryside (138).
Earning the event’s recognition as Outstanding Wrestler was Largo’s Derrick Doss. The 182-pounder won a 7-3 decision over Countryside’s Jake Laursen in the finals.
"The important thing is that we won as a team," PHU coach Brad Sakevich said of the final results. "I thought it was a very a good showing; it was dominant. It was better than last year and that’s what we’re trying to do: get better and better and better."
Although the hosts won with relative ease during the two-day tournament, Sakevich said he still wants more out of his boys heading into district, region and state meets.
"Maybe someday when we’re like Brandon and we get 14 kids in and 14 kids win, I’ll be satisfied. Some other coaches might say that I'm crazy because I had 11 kids in the finals and six champs. But a 6-5 split isn’t exactly what I wanted. I thought we had seven, maybe an outside shot at eight. Six, to me, falls a little short."
"When I go home tonight and reevaluate how we did I’ll be happy with the back-to-back county championship and the overall effort of the kids," the coach continued. "Sometimes the outcome isn’t exactly what I want, but if I wasn’t like this we probably wouldn’t be as good as we are."
PHU’s individual champions were Tim Sakow (106 pounds), Jared Prince (120), Connor Prince (126), Mike May (132), Josh Kampmann (145) and Aaron Hartman (160).
"Individually, some kids had a great tournament," Sakevich said. "Mikey May had a great tournament, Jared Prince had a great tournament, Josh Kampman finished his senior year off with a county championship. There were definitely some highlights."
"We won PCACs last year so we just came back to repeat and let everybody know that we’re the PCAC champs," said Jared Prince, who pinned Seminole’s Luis Rivera in the third period. "We were coming in trying to get ten in the finals but we got 11, so I think we did what we wanted to do."
Two of Saturday’s final bouts needed overtime before a victor was crowned. The first came at 138 pounds and was perhaps the days most compelling battle.
Dunedin’s Alex Lebhar, trying to finally earn a conference title after consecutive second-place finishes, went at it with another state top-10 wrestler, PHU’s Tucker Hardwick.
"At the end of regulation I was having trouble getting out because he rode me tough," Lebhar said of his tactical approach. "He’s a tough kid. I knew if it did go to overtime I was going to have to be ready to go because I really wanted it."
Lebhar avoided Hardwick’s best efforts to end it in regulation and eventually scored the deciding point with just moments left in the second, 30-second tiebreaker period, winning 3-2.
"The past two years I’ve been to the county finals and I’ve lost to Palm Harbor," Lebhar said. "I have two articles about it and they both hang in my room. I look at them every night when I'm feeling down on myself and they motivate me to work harder.
"The third time is a charm. I’ve worked way too hard to be second place again."
Lebhar’s teammate and one of the county and state’s top wrestlers, Dunedin’s Clarence Arrington (126 pounds), did not compete this weekend. A top-notch bout between Arrington and PHU’s Connor Prince did not come to fruition. East Lake’s Patrick Brown took full advantage by qualifying for the final against Prince, but could not pull an upset. Prince, the state’s second-ranked Class 3A wrestler at 126 pounds, pinned Brown in 3 minutes 18 seconds.
Not far behind the Lebhar-Hardwick bout in terms of excitement was the championship round’s opening match between PHU’s Tim Sakow and Countryside’s Matt Collora. The 106-pound grapplers entered ranked No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, in Class 3A. Tied 1-1, Sakow executed a late escape and won 2-1.
PHU’s Hartman is No. 1 in the Class 3A state rankings at 152 pounds, but went up to compete at 160 this weekend. The slight weight disadvantage didn’t seem to bother Hartman, though, as the senior earned a 7-0 decision over St. Petersburg’s Thomas Moser.
"It was a good match," Hartman said. "He was a little bigger than me because I bumped up to 160, but I think I handled it pretty well. This is definitely a step toward the main goal – states. I just have to get it done this year."
Saturday’s other overtime match came at 220 between PHU’s Tyler Modlin and St. Pete’s Brandon Mayhone. After getting to a late 2-2 tie in regulation, Mayhone shot in low on Modlin to score and win just 19 seconds into sudden victory overtime.
"I'm disappointed for Tyler," Sakevich said. "He works really hard and I wanted to get him a county title. But hopefully next week he’ll win a second district and we’ll keep rolling. The goal now is to win the district."
Sakevich said he also hopes PHU’s inability to close out a couple more finals bouts will provide a late-season jolt.
"It’s a good [motivator] before districts," he said. "The kids have to realize what they need to do – finish matches, go out and score points in bunches, not let the ref take the match out of their hands.
"I think it’s actually good because we needed something to motivate us a little bit."
106 Pounds – Tim Sakow (PHU) 2-1 Dec. over Matt Collora (C-Side); 3rd Place: Brandon Pastore (Dun)
113 Pounds – Andy Mashburn (C-Side) 9-1 Maj. Dec. over Joe Capone (PHU); 3rd Place: Hung Le Do (Lar)
120 Pounds – Jared Prince (PHU) Pin (5:13) over Luis Rivera (Sem); 3rd Place: Cain Martin (C-Side)
126 Pounds – Connor Prince (PHU) Pin (3:18) over Patrick Brown (EL); 3rd Place: Marcus Atherholt (C-Side)
132 Pounds – Mike May (PHU) 8-2 Dec. over Logan Hatfield (Sem); 3rd Place: Marc Allison (Dun)
138 Pounds – Alex Lebhar (Dun) 3-2 OT Dec. over Tucker Hardwick (PHU); 3rd Place: Aaron Liscinski (PP)
145 Pounds – Josh Kampmann (PHU) Pin (1:11) over Tucker Shivers (C-Side); 3rd Place: Conner Menendez (TS)
152 Pounds – Dylan Renaker (EL) 10-6 Dec. over Gunner Hurst (PHU); 3rd Place: Joshua Deese (NE)
160 Pounds – Aaron Hartman (PHU) 7-0 Dec. over Thomas Moser (SP); 3rd Place: Anthony Dampier (Dun)
170 Pounds – Luis Aldana (DH) 7-5 Dec. over Jake Timpanaro (PHU); 3rd Place: Stephen Doyle (NE)
182 Pounds – Derrick Doss (Lar) 7-3 Dec. over Jake Laursen (C-Side); 3rd Place: Tyler Orgera (PHU)
195 Pounds – Danny Bergstrom (Lar) Pin (2:25) over Cory Dahm (EL); 3rd Place: Chance Leccese (PP)
220 Pounds – Brandon Mayhone (SP) 4-2 OT Dec. over Tyler Modlin (PHU); 3rd Place: Clayton Redmond (DH)
285 Pounds – Andre Matthews (DH) 3-1 Dec. over Kenny McGhee (SP); 3rd Place: Z. Martin (Gibbs)