Wrestling Championship Photos- 2/1 & 2/2/19
Photos by JT Harless
By Dave Brousseau
POMPANO BEACH – A Cardinal Gibbons freshman, two undefeated wrestlers competing for the heavyweight title and a surprising competitor from Dillard.
Those storylines were just a sampling of the 2019 BCAA Wrestling Championships at Pompano Beach High on Saturday.
Jonathan Ley, a Cardinal Gibbons freshman, led nine athletes from the Fort Lauderdale school to compete for a BCAA title.
Ley (35-2), who competed at last year’s state finals as an eight grader from Mater Academy, won his 145-pound match against Terrell Taylor of Coral Springs Charter by a 10-3 decision.
His victory was one of many that helped the Chiefs to yet another overall team title with 323 points. Coral Springs Charter finished second with 230points.
“As a freshman I was really nervous,” said Ley, who is in his fourth year competing as a wrestler. “My coaches keep telling me to just have fun when I wrestle.
When you wrestle it’s just you out there, you can’t blamer anyone and it’s just fun.”
Ley advanced to his final with three consecutive pins, before ousting Taylor.
“Ley is still learning,” said Gibbons coach Frank Pettineo. “He is the real deal and is youth is the only he needs to overcome.”
Other Gibbons champions were Tyler Cabral (106), Brian Mas (126), AlexandrMas (132) and Damian Castro (182).
The final match of the tournament pitted a pair of undefeated heavyweight wrestlers in defending BCAA champ John Pope of St. Thomas Aquinas and MaleikLawrence of Flanagan.
Pope, a Kentucky signee for football, retained his title after was disqualified. Each of his four victories in the tourney were by pin.
“Wrestling is like football with a one on one fight and I have that mentality,” Pope said. “I’ve grown to love it and that’s why I’ve been doing this for four years. Reaching the top of the state podium is my goal.”
Kendrick Jones of Dillard had a chance to become the first wrestler form his school to win a BCAA wrestling title since Omar Wilson in 2002.
The opportunity was dashed however when he lost to Nico Esposito of Fort Lauderdale by a 10-5 decision for the 170-pound championship. It was Jones’ third loss of the season, all coming to his Flying L’s opponent.
“I’ve run a lot to make weight and wrestle a lot to make sure I can be the best wrestler I can be,” Jones said. “I like the aggressive nature of the sport. It’s hard to explain, but it’s a part of me.
I felt like I could make it this far, but still I was surprised I did.”
Dillard coach Larry Barnswell was pleased with Jones reaching the finals
“His workout habits got him here,” said Barnswell. “He’s worked hard, and it has paid off.”
Team scores (Top 5)
1. Cardinal Gibbons 323; 2. Coral Springs Charter230; 3. St. Thomas Aquinas208.5; 4. Cypress Bay 200.5; 5. South Broward 142.
106: Cabral (CG) p. McCray (EVER) 4:31; 113:Montanez (SB) t.p. Mabud (CG)16-4; 120: Johnson (CS) d. R. Limperis (CG) 13-4; 126: B. Mas (CG) p. Burton (STA) 5:40; 132: A. Mas (CG) p. Punzalan(CB) 0:31; 138: A. Chitty (CSC) d. Erched (MSD) 9-6; 145: Ley (CG) d. Taylor (CSC) 10-3; 152: Maynard (SB) p. J. Limperis (CG) 2:41; 160: N. Chitty (CSC) d. Ellison (CG) 5-4; 170: Esposito (FTL) d. Jones (DILL)10-5; 182: Castro (CG) p. Deluna (CB) 3:45; 195:Lusk (STA) p. Rodriguez (McA) 1:09; 220: Mingarelli(STA) d. Neale (CC) 5:11; HWT: Pope (STA) by disqualification over Lawrence (FLAN).
106: Papalardo (TARA) d. Perez (CC) 16-12; 113:Reistra (CC) d. Huertas (TARA) 10-1; 120: Wigutow(STA) d. Peralta (WB) 9-6; 126: Sarron (CSC) p. Taylor (MIR) 3:12; 132: Pavilus (SP) by forfeit over Bazan (SB); 138: Garcia (SB) d. Rodriguez (CB) 10-5; 145: Molina (WEST) d. Korochensk (SB) 1:36; 152:Diaz (CS) p. Louis (MIR) 4:30; 160: Derose (MIR) d. Courson (CB) 7-3; 170: Vargas (CSC) p. Chacon Pal (CRK) 3:00; 182: Louidor (PL) d. Wilson (CSC) 8-2; 195:DeAlmeida (CB) d. Kelly (MSD) 9-3; 220:Pfitzenmai (NOV) by forfeit over Muniz (CSC); HWT:Ormil (CSC) p. Black (CG) 2:50.
02/02/19 - Douglas wrestlers Wolk and Erchedready defend titles
By Dave Brousseau
For Jason Wolk and Steven Erched of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, their remarkable journey as high school wrestlers by no means overshadow the senseless tragedy that took the lives of 17 students and faculty last Feb.14.
After somehow qualifying for the Class 3A state tournament last year, Wolk and Erched return to defend their BCAA County titles at Pompano Beach High.
The resolve by both athletes got them through district and regional meets in the same week. Eventually all caught up with them as they were eliminated from the state meet in two matches.
“The sport is the same as it’s always been for me,” Wolk said. “Now I feel like more aware how everyone is watching me because the spotlight was randomly put on us.
You’ve begun to act more mature because people are zeroing on you.”
Dealing with the reality of the campus shooting hurt, but it has also given further commitment to the sport of wrestling for Erched and Wolk.
“What happened last year gave me a different outlook on life,” Erched said. “Things have real significant meanings and I take nothing for granted. I love this sport and want to enjoy every moment of it, regardless of whatever happens on the mat.
Looking back on last year, I can tell my head wasn’t in the game and my performance wasn’t where it should be. I can be a much better wrestler this year.”
The preliminary rounds were good to both Wolkand Erched.
Wolk won his first match (120) by pinning Alijah Cornelius of South Plantation in 39 seconds. He advanced to the semifinals by pin over Gabriel Preal of Coral Springs in 1:24.
Erched also advanced winning his 138-pound match of the day with a pin over Seyi Ogunnuga of Stranahan in 2:00. He followed that with a pin in 1:11 over Ismael Reyes of West Broward.
“I haven’t had any significant changes going into school, wrestling or life,” said Wolk. “I just feel more grateful and don’t take anything for granted and I understand it’s privilege to be here.”
Former Douglas wrestling coach and athletic director Chris Hixon will be inducted into the Broward County Wrestling Hall of Fame in a ceremony prior to Saturday’s championship matches.
The tournament resumes at 9:15 a.m. with wrestlebacks. Semifinals are schedule to be at 10:15 a.m. Championship and consolation finals are set for 4:15.
Team scores (top 5)
Cardinal Gibbons 146.5, St. Thomas Aquinas 127.5, Coral Springs Charter 110, Cypress Bay 107.5; Douglas 84.
106: Cabralla (CG) vs. Perez (CC); McCray (EVER) vs. Papalardo (TARA); 113:Montanez (SB) vs. Riestra(CC); Mabud (CG) vs. Huertas (TARA); 120: Johnson (CS) vas. Ivory (CB); Peraltra (WB) vs. Limperis (CG); 125: Sarron (CSC) vs. Burton (STA); B. Mas (CG) vs. Wolk (MSD); 132: Punzalan (CB) vs. Messina (STA); Bazan (SB) vs. A. Mas (CG); 138: Erched (MSD) vs.Rodriguez (CB); 145: Ley (CG) vs. Johnson (STA); Molina (WEST) vs. Taylor (CSC); 152:Guerriero (STA) vs. Limperis (CG); Diaz (CS) vs. Maynard (SB); 160:Ellison (CG) vs. Threlkeld (STA); Mulka (FTL) vs. N. Chitty (CSC); 170: Esposito (FTL) vs. Vargas (CSC); Jones (DILL) vs. Chacon Pal (CRK); 182: Castro (CG) vs. Rutledge (CS); Newton (TARA) vs. Deluna (CB); 195: Lusk (STA) vs. Kelly (MSD); Rodriguez (McA) vs. DeAlmeida (CB); 220: Pfitzenmal (NOV) vs. Neale (CC); Muniz (CSC) vs. Mingarelli (STA); HWT: Pope (STA) vs. Black (CG); Ormil (CSC) vs. Lawrence (FLAN).