Wrestling in their back yards, Osceola High’s Cooper Haase and Jaekus Hines won state wrestling championships Saturday, and Nolin Eaddy was second at the Silver Spurs Arena.
Despite only having five wrestlers competing, Osceola finished fourth in the Class 3A team standings.
“All; five of those guys exceeded expectations; we had a heck of a weekend,” OHS Coach Jim Bird said.
Dylan Ruiz was third, and Adriel Martinez won a match over the weekend. Osceola has now had a state champion on the mat in 14 straight seasons, and Cooper Haase, the wunder-freshman, took care of that in the first 3A title bout of the day, dominating Miami Columbus’ sophomore Christoper Guzman, 10-3.
Haase took the lead in the first period with and didn’t look back, even though Guzman pulled to within 4-3 early in the second period. But Haase answered with an escape and takedown to extend the lead again to 7-3, and from there the victory was on.
“I just believed in myself all weekend,” Haase said. “Coach Bird has helped me with my mental state to make sure I ready for this moment.”
Bird said Haase won because he wasn’t fazed by the state tournament craziness.
“He’s just mentally tough. He wrestles through tough positions, like he got into early in that second period,” Bird said. “He’s been wrestling big matches since he started when he was younger.”
After three years of working and waiting and two state runner-up finishes, Hines got his win, and did it emphatically at 132 pounds. After leading South Dade’s Adrian Neco on points, Hines put him away with a pin with five seconds left in the second period; it was just in time as he battled for nearly 20 seconds there before the ref slapped the mat.
“I just wanted to win here, I felt like I should have won already, so anybody I wrestled was going to get a little payback, because I wanted to dominated everybody I faced this year,” Hines said.
Bird said “it’s awesome” that Hines finally pulled off a state title win.
“He’s the guy in our wrestling room that has everyone smiling, so I think everyone was excited for finally get one here in the state meet,” Bird said.
Eaddy, wrestling his first career title match, lost the 182-pound championship to undeated Jesse Martinez of Riverdale to earn as silver medal.
“He may have been trying to keep his man from scoring more than scoring himself,” Bird said about Martinez. That kid’s good on top, and we knew that.”
Eaddy said he hope to slow down the match and his aggressive opponent, just like he did in his first three matches of the tournament.
“I thought I could score first and then keep him from scoring,” Eaddy said. “I wrestled him at the regionals and thought I did better here.”
Dylan Ruiz won the consolation bracket at 220 pounds with a 3-1 win over Dr. Phillips’ Gerald Greaves for third place.
In Class 2A, Harmony’s John McNichols finished in fourth place become the fifth county wrestler to earn a medal and states and lead a contingent of Longhorns that placed 14th among teams.
“We brought six guys here, they’d never been here before, they all won matches and five of them will be coming back,” Longhorns Coach Vic Lorenzano said.