Drew Hess

Citrus High’s Drew Hess, right, locks up with Andre Mortensen from Jesuit High in an 195-pound match at the Class 2A-Region II Meet on Saturday at Brandon High.

BRANDON — The final three pieces of the Citrus County contingency at the "Region of Doom" fell victim in Day 2 at Brandon High.

In the House that Cozart built — aka the Class 2A, Region II Wrestling Tournament — all 13 of the county’s entries were eliminated from advancing to the Class 2A FHSAA Finals next weekend in Osceola County.

In the state’s toughest regional, defending state champion Lakeland-Lake Gibson made it back-to-back regional titles by staving off Tampa-Jesuit, 263.0-237.0.

Brandon, seeking its 23rd regional title, finished in third place with 178.0 points.

Lake Gibson advanced a meet-high 11 to states at the Silver Spurs Arena, followed by Jesuit (10) and Brandon (8). while Tampa-Blake and Springstead each advanced five grapplers.

Lecanto, which was 32nd last winter, improved to 18th (24.0 points) while Citrus placed 22nd with 15 points.

Lecanto, which technically had sophomore Ian Williams at 145 and freshman Diego Mendez at 113 pounds alive, lost Mendez to a freak accident on an elliptical machine on Friday night. While trying to cut weight, he jammed his knee. It’s the same knee he suffered an ACL tear on two years ago.

His father, second-year skipper Jose Mendez, thought it prudent not to push Mendez into a tough match on Saturday. So instead, Mendez (46-14) forfeited to Robinson senior Isaac Guillermo.

Meanwhile, Williams was ahead early on points against Scott Lake of Liberty, before Lake locked him up into a cradle and pinned him in 1:29. Williams’ season ended at 20-8.

Overall, the Panthers finished 8-12 overall, highlighted by five pins.

Addressing his son’s freak injury, the coach said, "We decided as a whole not to wrestle. Sure, Diego wanted to, but why take a chance and hurt that knee by rushing it? Of course, he was disappointed that he didn’t wrestle.

"To me, it was the right call to make."

Reviewing the season, "It was a season of improvement," noted Coach Mendez. "We placed better at Kiwanis, better at the district duals. We took have five kids to regionals last year. This time, we qualified eight and finished 18th. Those are all great signs of improvement.

"Next year, we’ll have all seven and possibly eight back once Evan’s (Hairston) elbow is healed up. I’m encouraged about the future, this was definitely a season of improvement."

Hess falls

Citrus senior Drew Hess at 195 suffered his second loss in the double elimination event on Saturday morning to Jesuit’s Andrew Mortensen in 1:56. Hess finished 40-13 overall.

"The other kid had a good record. The kid torqued Hess’s sore shoulder. He tried asking for injury time, but the ref didn’t see it. As soon as he turned him, he pinned him," recalled first-year CHS mentor McKinley Franklin. "That Jesuit kid was tough. I don’t think Hess saw that one coming."

On finishing 4-14 overall, "We’ve talked about it. This is the toughest regional in the state. I wouldn’t take a moment back for anybody," noted Coach Franklin. "I just wish we would’ve had a few better results."

After losing four seniors, including Hess, Franklin said, "I wish those guys all the luck in the world going forward and I hope I see them back in the room soon, teaching the younger guys. This was a special group. Coach (Jeff) Wood had them for three years and I got them this year with a real young team. I’m very thankful for the chance to coach up Hess and all the other seniors."

2019 Final 2A-II Wrestling Tournament Top 10 Team Standings:


1. Lakeland-Lake Gibson (LKG) 263.0 1. Tampa-Jesuit (TJ) 237.0

3. Brandon (BRA) 178.0

4. Spring Hill-Springstead (SPG) 111.0

5. Tampa-Blake (BLAK) 93.0

6. Harmony (HAR) 89.5

7. Tampa-Robinson (ROB) 53.0

7. Groveland-South Lake (SL) 53.0

9. Winter Haven (WH) 44.5

10. Land O’Lakes-Sunlake (SNL) 38.0


18. Lecanto (LEC) 24.0

22. Inverness-Citrus (CIT) 15.0


Championship Results

106 – Kai Owen (TJ) major dec. Tyson Lane (BRA), 9-1 .

113 – Braden Basile (TJ) major dec.,Chase Ayers (LKG), 9-1.

120 – Tom Crook (TJ) pin Jaquez House (BLAK), 1:15.

126 – Trey Lane (BRA) dec. Connor Williams (LKG), 2-0.

132 – Brenden Abdon (LKG) tech. fall over Melvin Ewen (HARM), 22-5.

138 – Shannon Hanna (LKG) def. Hunter Lefebvre (BRA), 3-1.

145 – Ethan Basile (TJ) tech. fall dec. Cleavon Bennett (BLAK), 17-1.

152 – Chris Morales (SPG) dec. Elijah Gray (LKG), 5-2.

160 – Onid Olavarria (BRA) major dec. Kameron McCall (LKG), 11-1.

170 – Miguel Angel Hernandez (LKG) dec. Broc Spurling (BRA), 5-4.

182 – Ashton Habeil (LKG) dec. Ethan Endres (WH), 4-2.

195 – Caden Cunningham (LKG) pin Timothy Johnson (PAS), 1:58.

220 – Mason Arnold (TJ) dec. Devin Jandura (ROB, 3-2 (4 OT).

285 – James Spencer (SPG) dec. Kevron Gadson (ER), 3-2 (2 OT).


Consolation Results

106 – Jesse Gehr (LKG) dec Jordan King (CHAM), 8-2.

113 – Jose Berdecia (BRA) dec. Dominic Nardini (SPG), 7-2.

120 – Grant Kinsey-Jones (ARM) dec. Joe Gallo (SPG), 6-1.

126 – Jack Crook (TJ) pin Dylan Jones (HARM), 1:23.

132 – Jaylen McClendon (BLAK) dec. Tanner Kitta (SL), 10-8 (4 OT).

138 – Serdio Desiante (TJ) pin Alijah Bliss (GAIT) 0:49.

145 – Andreas Bond (LKG) tech fall Carson Rudd (WH), 15-0.

152 – Travis Pawlowski (SL) pin Frank Diaz (BRA), 0:48.

160 – Dennis Glardior (BLAK) major dec. Tim Eberly (TJ), 13-4.

170 – Austin Edmundson (SL) dec. Victor Lipsey (SEAB), 5-1.

182 – Zachary Spicer (SNL) dec. Omarion Coleman (BLAK), 3-1.

195 – Ryan Voor (BRA) dec. Andre Mortensen (TJ), 4-0.

220 – Christian Reynolds (SPG) dec. Cayman Wiseman (SNL), 5-2.

285 – Cameron Carr (LWR) dec. Edwin Ramirez (LETO), 3-1.


Lecanto Individual Results


106 Cunningham, Miles 11 1 2 1 -

113 Mendez, Diego 9 2 2 1 -

145 Williams, Ian 10 2 2 1 -

160 Ramallo, Adrian 10 1 2 1 -

220 Brown, Greg 12 1 2 1 -

285 Bowman, James 11 1 2 0 -

TOTALS (6) 8 12 5 -


Citrus Individual Results


106 Lord, Memphis 10 1 2 1 -

120 Waller, Gavin 9 0 2 0 -

132 Simpson, Logan 9 1 2 1 -

145 Simpson, Gabriel 12 0 2 0 -

152 Johnson, Brendin 12 0 2 0 -

182 Franklin, McKinley 9 0 2 0 -

195 Hess, Drew 12 2 2 2 -

TOTALS (7) 4 14 4 -

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