Except for the presence of multi-time state champion Lake Highland, Saturday was a good day for the Harmony High wrestling program. It hosted the Longhorn Duals and rolled to a 4-1 day inside the Buddy Butler gymnasium.
The Longhorns laid the hammer down early in the day, scoring duals wins over Liberty (78-6), Largo (82-0), Boone (77-3) and St. Cloud (58-21).
Lake Highland (52-21) took the last match of the night over Harmony, but there were several solid individual efforts in that dual. Melvin Ewen used what Coach Vic Lorenzano called “a nearly lethal headlock” and a devastating reversal to earn a pin at 138 pounds. Juan Gomez rallied to take a one-point victory at 195, and Dylan Jones, a Class 2A state semifinalist at 126 pounds last year, earned a pin in the last match of the night, repaying the favor to a Highlander opponent who defeated him a year ago, Lorenzano said.
Next up for the Longhorns wrestlers is this weekend’s House of Payne tournament, originally scheduled to take place at Dr. Phillips but moved to Harmony due to scheduling conflicts. The field includes the powerful Panthers, county foe Tohopekaliga and District 2A-5 mate Jones.
In the season-opening Danny Byron Duals at Osceola, Kowboys Cooper Haase (106 pounds), Jaekus Hines (132) and Nolin Eaddy (182) claimed Gold bracket championships. Haase entered his freshman year among a list of state-ranked lightweights.
George Duncan (120, 5th), Adriel Martinez (152, 3rd) and Gateway’s Kyjuan Allen (285, 3rd) also placed, Jomar Sanchez (3-0) won in the White bracket.
The Kowboys travel to the Miami area this weekend for the South Dade Duals, where they’ll likely run into perennially state-ranked South Dade. The girls program will wrestle in a tournament at St. Cloud.