This weekend the best wrestlers from all over the state took the mat to determine who would be deemed “THE BEST.” The State Competition would be no exception to having to make adjustments due to Covid 19. A huge shout out to FHSAA Wrestling for taking the steps needed to enable the 20-21 State Wrestling Tournament to happen. The normal tickets, metal detector, and baggage check would only be altered by the addition of face masks and temperature checks. Compliance would be a small price to pay to be able to end this, as in years past, on the mat at the Silver Spurs Arena. Day one of the two-day tournament would deliver some tough battles, as expected, especially in the heavyweight division. At the end of the first day, 7 grapplers of the 14 from Hernando County would be left in the battle for a spot on the podium. Those grapplers were Hernando High seniors Billy Gould (145), Billy Fetzner (160), Chris Spellman (220), and Samuel Fleming (285). From Springstead: senior Dominique Nardini (106), senior Jonathan Dominquez (113), and junior Joe Gallo (138). Of these seven, Nardini, Dominguez, and Gould would be the only ones left in the fight for first.
There was definitely not a shortage of talent this weekend. The level of skill and performance out of these wrestlers is to be commended. There were several from other schools in the state on the hunt for multiple state titles. Wrestlers, like Bas Diaz, an 8th grader from Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines), who achieved a 2nd straight state title. It was an intense two days of wrestling with some surprise upsets and emotional victories. Those emotions only intensified on day two as one by one semi-final matches were completed, advancing only one grappler to the battle for first place. All 7 of our Hernando County wrestlers, that remained, would continue to wrestle for one of the remaining positions on the podium.
Hernando County grapplers ultimately left the Silver Spurs Arena with a total of 6 placers. Leading the Hernando County wrestlers at the podium would be Springstead’s Dominque Nardini with 3rd place in the 2A 106 weight class. Joining Nardini, ending on the podium for their weight class in 2A from Springstead, Junior Joe Gallo in the 138 weight class with a 5th place finish, and senior Jonathan Dominguez took 6th place in the 113 weight class. The Leopards, adding to their season accomplishments, come home with three grapplers landing on the podium. Both with 5th place, senior Chris Spellman for the 220 weight class and Samuel Fleming in the 285 weight class. Joining his fellow Leopards achieving the podium was senior Billy Gould with 6th place in the 145 weight class. These athletes fought hard leaving it all on the mat.