Sixteen Osceola County wrestlers will get to experience a “home game” for the Class 2A and 3A state meet when it starts Friday at the Silver Spurs Arena.
Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. Friday; the championship finals will be on Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $9 if purchased in advance.
Wrestlers from six schools qualified through their regional meets last weekend by placing in the top four at regionals, including three Osceola Kowboys who won their regions Saturday in a home match of their own at OHS in the Class 3A Region 2 meet. Cooper Haase, Jaekus Hines and Dylan Ruiz dominated the weekend along with two other teammates.
Haase, the highly-regarded freshman, capped the 106-pound bracket by pinning Steinbrenner’s Reid Noble just 77 seconds into the championship match to punch his ticket.
At 132 pounds, junior Jaekus Hines, already a two-time state runner-up, won all four of his matches by pin or technical fall en route to the win.
And Dylan Ruiz did all he could — four pins — to win the 182-pound class.
Teammates Adriel Martinez reached the 152-pound title match and finished second, and Nollin Eaddy, a previous state qualifier, only lost to Riverdale’s undefeated Jessie Martinez at 182 and finished third.
“I thought we could get seven in and got five, so not as good as we wanted,” OHS Coach Jim Bird said. “The five going all have a chance to get on the podium so we’re still training hard and trying to reach our goals.”
Celebration will send Kyler Peraza, third at 113 pounds, to state.
At the Region 3A-3 meet in West Palm Beach, St. Cloud’s Caleb George (4th at 132) and Wilfredo Martinez (2nd at 160), earned state meet berths.
Harmony will have six wrestlers go at state in the Class 2A bracket. At the Region 2 meet in Brandon, Aiden Poe reached the 113-pound championship match and finished second. John McNichols (126), Dylan Jones (132), Will Jacobson (170) and Nelson Toro (220) all finished third, and Juan Gomez (195) finished fourth.
Poinciana’s Zayveon Mitchell (third at 120) and Gateway’s Kyjuan Allen (fourth at 285) also earned state bids.