SEBRING – The annual Spiegel Invitational drew a huge crowd on Saturday. The Sebring Blue Streaks hosted 24 wrestling teams in the day-long competition.
The Blue Streaks had four wrestlers place in the top six of their weight divisions. The Lake Placid Green Dragons had one wrestler finish in the top six. Avon Park did not compete in the event.
“The tournament was great,” said Sebring Wrestling Coach Joshua Miller. “We did not have any major complications or issues. It was a successful day for Sebring wrestling. It’s always a great fundraiser for us so we want to thank everyone that helped us out. When Osceola gets third place and they are ranked at the top of the state in Class 3A you know it’s a tough tournament.”
Sebring’s Efrain Acosta placed second in the 152-pound weight class. Acosta lost by an 8-4 decision in the championship round to Ft Pierce Central’s Zaine Parlor.
Sebring’s Will Siver placed third in the 160 weight class by beating Jensen Beach’s Hayden Zehe by a score of 2-1.
Blue Streak Andru Boyd claimed sixth at 145 pounds. Boyd lost by decision in the fifth-place match to Sebastian River’s Jack Dinberg by 6-1.
“Our guys wrestled fairly good,” said Miller. “There was definitely some hometown jitters. I know in other sports they consider home matches to be an advantage but in wrestling it’s a lot of the guys first time having friends or family coming to watch, they tend to get a little bit more nervous. The guys worked their tails off helping setup, breakdown and run the tournament. Having all of that on their mind definitely distracts them from performing at their best. Even though they had all that they still did pretty well. Efrain Acosta had a tough close match and I am more than proud of his efforts and how far he came. Will Sivers wrestled tough and had a really good finals match. He worked really hard and maintained solid positioning. We have been working really hard with Will on that. He is a very talented wrestler and tends to get into trouble by forcing things he doesn’t need to. He really took the time and made it an educational bout. He forced the guy into making mistakes instead of making the mistakes himself. Andru Boyd pulled out some good victories on some good wrestlers.”
Lake Placid’s Hunter Lane Costello was fourth at 145 pounds. Costello lost by decision in the third-place match to Darian Diaz of Somerset by a score of 12-7.
“This was a chance for us to get out there and wrestle some more experienced wrestlers,” said Lake Placid Coach Steve Plummer. “We are a young team so it was a great learning experience. Hunter Lane Costello did very well. Carlos Padilla made it to the quarterfinals and placed seventh. We got to wrestle guys from 1A to 3A schools. They came from all over and it was very cool to see that. This was a great warmup for districts. This was the kind of competition we will see at districts. This gave the guys a taste of what they will see at districts and even at regionals.”
The Sebring Blue Streaks and Lake Placid Green Dragons are gearing up for their district tournaments. Sebring’s Class 2A district meet is Saturday Feb. 23rd at Venice High School. Lake Placid’s Class 1A district meet will be Saturday Feb. 23rd in Lakeland.