GHS wrestling wins 4th straight City Meet


Gainesville's Rene Owens, at back, puts a hold on Buchholz's Michael Martin during the City Meet at Eastside High School on Friday.

Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 11:53 p.m.

How is a team that wins the Gainesville City Meet for the fourth straight year unsatisfied when it's all said and done?

That's what happens when you're a wrestling powerhouse like Gainesville, who's used to competing at a high level and is disappointed when it doesn't.

On Friday night at Eastside, the Hurricanes took the trophy once again with 100 total points, Buchholz came in second with 67 and Eastside finished third with 59.

But for the Rams and Bobcats, the result paled in comparison to the journey.

As of 2002, there was no wrestling program at Buchholz. Fast forward to six years later, and the Bobcats doubled the amount of city champions from last year.

Eastside has only been wrestling for four years, but on Friday, the Rams gave Gainesville all it could handle down the stretch.

As for the Hurricanes, head coach Ryland Wagner was disappointed with the effort his team put up considering districts is only a week away.

"I don't think we wrestled very well," Wagner said. "We've been wrestling well the last couple of weeks, and it's kind of a step back tonight. Our goal isn't winning the city championships or the Lake Weir tournament. It's the postseason."

Going into the last three matches of the night, Eastside faced off against a Gainesville team that finished fourth at state last season. But that didn't mean they didn't have confidence.

It started with Calvin Thomas, who kept getting slammed by a guy that's placed in the state tournament every year since he was a freshman, Chase Rountree. Thomas kept getting up and fighting him off before finally being pinned with just 55 seconds left in the third period.

That seemed to spark the Rams, who picked up wins at the 152-, 160- and 285-pound divisions to give one of their best performances against Gainesville at the City Meet.

"I'm surprised how we did against Gainesville," senior 160-pounder Elijah Tragash said. "I thought we did pretty good, but I'm surprised we lost to Buchholz. I thought we would've beaten Buchholz."

In the first match, Buchholz beat Eastside, 45-32. The Bobcats, who forfeited two weight classes, won the first seven weight classes with three pins by Rooster Sansone, Rico Coar and Ryan Oakley. Eastside made a run at the end, winning six of the last seven weight classes and getting a pin by Davante Williams, but it wasn't enough.

"Overall, I think we did very well," Buchholz coach Billy Pankey said. "The guys are working hard. They deserve the credit. I'm hoping they can build off this for districts. That's the main goal."

The Hurricanes, who had three forfeited weight classes, faced Buchholz first, and after losing the first four weight classes three by forfeit and one by a major decision the Hurricanes won the next 10 and pinned their opponent on eight of them.

Picking up pins for Gainesville were: Paul Smith (130 pounds), Kyle Brooks (135), Deanerius Wilson (140), Rountree (145), Preston Muerlot (152), Rene Owens (160), Mat Vascoy (189) and Spencer Carlisle (285).

All three teams will have one more meet before districts late next week. Buchholz, Eastside and Gainesville will all be at an eight-team tournament at Buchholz today beginning at 8 a.m.

As for the fourth-ever City Meet, it was Wagner who helped Buchholz and Eastside get off the ground with their programs. And it was Wagner who, despite being unhappy with his team's performance, was proud the meet is still alive.

"(The City Meet) is great for the community of wrestling," Wagner said. "It was a great day. Wrestling is only getting better here in Alachua County."

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