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Eagles, Hornets, and Leopards Advance at State Tournament

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The first day of the FHSAA State Wrestling tournament culled the field of competitors down and separated others into the consolation bracket. Day two at Silver Spurs Arena saw the number reduced further still as Nature Coast was officially eliminated from the event. Springstead and Hernando suffered losses as well. The Eagles saw one player eliminated and the other two forced into the consolation bracket with losses on the first day of March. The Leopards also saw some of their wrestlers advance to Saturday’s consolation rounds while two boys were eliminated. Friday’s festivities began with a 9:00 AM weigh-in before championship round 2 tipped off at 9:15. The second round of consolation matches took place afterward at 11:45. The afternoon saw two more rounds of competition: semifinals at 1:30 and consolation round 3 at 4:00. Below is a breakdown of how each wrestler fared:

Championship Round 2 (Quarterfinal):
After leading 6-1 late in the second period, Springstead’s Gianella Walczak (girls’ class 105) won by fall over Skyler Randolph (Riverdale) with :08 remaining.

 Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee fell to Dully Brutus of Miramar by Fall at 4:47 in a second round match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee fell to Dully Brutus of Miramar by Fall at 4:47 in a second round match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Inversely, Eagles’ wrestler Vincenzo Lee (class 120 2A) trailed 7-0 en route to being pinned in the third period against Dully Brutus (Miramar).

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Springstead’s Jasmine Serrano (girls’ class 125) suffered a near fall in the first two minutes as she was bested 8-2 by Christina Borgmann (Flagler Palm Coast). Weeki Wachee’s Ricky Bowermaster (class 144 1A) fell to Talon Maple (Zephyrhills Christian) with :20 left in the second period.

Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed minor help for a bloody lip before defeating Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed minor help for a bloody lip before defeating Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]

Shaw Garrett (Hernando) took the sudden victory 11-9 over Jensen Beach’s Braden Hogg in the morning’s opening round. The Leopards’ Morgan Johnston fell to Myles Sadeek (Mater Lakes Academy) 49 seconds into the contest. Kian Blyss (Hernando) was also defeated by fall 5:06 into the bout by Damian Soto (Mater Lakes Academy).

Consolation Round 2:
Nick Guy (class 106 1A) was meant to compete in this round but advanced to the consolation round 3 due to a forfeit.
Springstead’s Lee returned to the mat for this consolation round, where he was defeated 6-5 and subsequently eliminated in the waning seconds by Okeechobee’s Clayton Wolf. Deadlocked at 5-5, Wolf deftly chose to open the final portion of the match in the down position. This allowed him to successfully escape Lee’s grasp and gain the game-winning point in the process.
Serrano took advantage of her second chance in this round as she pulled away late in her 6-1 win over Arianna Ruiz (Mater Lakes).
Preston Pineiro (Astronaut) took the match by major decision over Dominic Buckwalter (MD 13-1).
Bowermaster managed to get back in the win column and advance to consolation round 3 with his 6-2 victory over Aaron Robinson (Wakulla).
Clearwater Central Catholic’s Jason Schiavello won by a 6-1 decision over the now-eliminated Kyle Pearson (Hernando).
Johnston (Hernando) won by a razor-thin 3-2 decision over Cardinal Gibbons’ Dominic Pantuso to advance to the consolation round 3.
Lexander Coleman (Lakewood) defeated Hernando’s Blyss by fall 1:58 into the matchup.

Semifinals:
Walczak fought for all three periods but lost to Abigail Gonzalez (Mater Lakes) by a 10-3 decision on Friday. Gonzalez executed an impressive move in the second period where she circled over Walczak for a takedown to begin putting the match away. The Springstead wrestler will advance to the consolation semifinals on Saturday morning.

Springstead High 105 pound Gianella Walczak won over Riverdale’s Skyler Randolph by Fall in her second round match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 105 pound Gianella Walczak won over Riverdale’s Skyler Randolph by Fall in her second round match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Garrett (Hernando) was vanquished by a 12-3 major decision in his semifinal bout versus Enzo Gamba (Fernandina Beach),

Consolation Round 3:
Guy was narrowly defeated in a low-scoring 2-0 match against Eli Jolicoeur (Suwanee). The Suwanee athlete scored the winning pair of points on a reversal in the second period to take the bout.
In a back-and-forth affair, Serrano pinned Vivianna Caullet (Wellington) with 1:06 left in regulation to nab the victory.
Bowermaster emerged victorious by a score of 5-3 in overtime over Devon Jackson (La Belle). The Hornets’ wrestler endured the closest match of the round as he led 3-1 late before a reversal in the final seconds tied the game and sent it to the extra period. As soon as overtime began, though, Bowermaster immediately went on the offensive and logged the go-ahead takedown within the first 10 seconds of overtime.
Johnston would suffer a fall 1 minute and 46 seconds into his contest against Javier Lopez (Zephyrhills Christian).
Weeki Wachee’s Head Coach Joe Felice felt “we wrestled well” and looks to get better heading into next year. They do still have some work to do at the tournament as he hopes for Bowermaster to take third and Guy to come back and take seventh tomorrow. The four players who competed in the third consolation round, as well as Walczak and Garrett, will advance to Day 3’s consolation rounds, Saturday.

Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed defeated Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed defeated Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed defeated Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster needed defeated Talon Maple from Zephyr Hills Christian by Fall at 3:41 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee succumbed to Okechobee High Clayton Wolf in a hard fought decision in a consolation match 6-5 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee succumbed to Okechobee High Clayton Wolf in a hard fought decision in a consolation match 6-5 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee succumbed to Okechobee High Clayton Wolf in a hard fought decision in a consolation match 6-5 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Vicenzo Lee succumbed to Okechobee High Clayton Wolf in a hard fought decision in a consolation match 6-5 at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Jasmine Serrano took her match against Arianna Ruiz from Mater Lakes 6-1to advance in the consolation bracket at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Jasmine Serrano took her match against Arianna Ruiz from Mater Lakes 6-1to advance in the consolation bracket at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Jasmine Serrano took her match against Arianna Ruiz from Mater Lakes 6-1to advance in the consolation bracket at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Springstead High 120 pound Jasmine Serrano took her match against Arianna Ruiz from Mater Lakes 6-1to advance in the consolation bracket at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster advanced past Aaron Robinson of Wakulla in a consolation match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster advanced past Aaron Robinson of Wakulla in a consolation match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster advanced past Aaron Robinson of Wakulla in a consolation match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee High 144 pound Ricky Bowermaster advanced past Aaron Robinson of Wakulla in a consolation match at the 2024 FHSAA State Championship in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
 Weeki Wachee 144 pound Ricky Bowamaster needs overtime to get by Devon Jackson from LaBelle 5-3 at the FHSAA wrestling championships in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
Weeki Wachee 144 pound Ricky Bowamaster needs overtime to get by Devon Jackson from LaBelle 5-3 at the FHSAA wrestling championships in Kissimmee. [Photo by Joe DiCristofalo]
 

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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