SPRING HILL - Maybe Class 3A, District 1's Bunnell-Flagler Palm Coast should make Hernando County a yearly stop.
The Bulldogs, who finished 10th 3A-Region I last winter, made their first-ever trip count to the 16½-hour, 23-team, 24th Springstead Invitational sponsored by Foster's Roofing.
A 1993 Flagler Palm Coast alumnus, Tom Bartolotta watched his mat men depart Spring Hill with their fifth straight tournament title of the season.
On Saturday, the 'Dawgs pieced together an 11-match win skein that created separation and concluded with a meet-high 10 placers (top four or better) and six finalists, to deny the host 2A-5 Springstead Eagles their eighth straight Springstead Invitational crown, 241.0-190.0.
Though the Spring Hill crew garnered a tourney-high three champions in four finals bouts, both FPC and Orlando-Edgewater each departed with two champions.
Coach Bartolotta was precise and on-point with his comments following his team's second win over the three-time defending 2A state champions from SHS in two weeks.
On Dec. 20-21 at the 18th annual Cougar Invitational at Plant City-Durant, the Eagles dropped their last two finals - spoiling a stunning come-from-behind bid, 207.5-203.0.
"We knew coming in that Springstead would be ready for us this time," admitted Coach Bartolotta. "The tournament obviously went great for us. We wrestled really well. I thought we wrestled the tournament of our lives.
"Anytime you go somewhere and score 240 points, it's a great feeling," he added. "The (11-0) run we had just after the 106-pound match in the semis helped seal it. This is our fifth tournament win, but we're ranked 19th (in 3A). Maybe this sends us some love."
SHS' second-year skipper Sal Basile gave credit to the Bulldogs.
"As a competitor you never want to accept a loss," admitted the 2013 2A Florida Dairy Farmer's Coach of Year Basile. "But we were simply out-wrestled. Flagler dominated. They came in with 14 guys and 10 left as placers - they nearly scored 250 points.
"On the other hand we had a handful of guys (six) that placed - that was the difference," added Basile. "As far as individual matches, this was the toughest Springstead Invitational we've had in years. We could make it so we could win it every year, but we don't.
"We brought in Flagler and several teams with solid individual kids like Auburndale, Winter Haven and Edgewater to make it a much tougher tournament," said Basile. "On Monday, we'll start to sort out the pieces and figure some things out."
Springstead finished runner-up - for the first time since 2006 - behind six placers featuring: Matt Landgraff (first) at 106, Michael McDonald (first) at 120, Andrew Smith (third) at 132, Jordan Rivera (first) at 145, Corey Humphrey (second) at 220 and Travis O'Neil (third) at 285.
On evaluating his performers, "Mikey (McDonald) has been doing some extraordinary things on a weekly basis," described Basile. "And Matt has been handling his business week-to-week, too. He just manhandled a good-looking Armwood kid in the finals.
"Guys like Quentin (D'Alessandro) wrestled great. He won four times and finished one win shy of placing," added Basile. "Our puppy at 138 (frosh Travis Williams) won two matches, both by pins, and (Robert) Holdway is beginning to turn the corner at 152."
Rivera reached a milestone by becoming just the 10th Eagle to win the Springstead Invitational three times joining Richie Bliss, John Dreggors, Corey Hill, Shawn Landgraff, Mike Marshall, Cody Ross, Nick Soto, Jimmy Stevenson and Schuyler Swanton.
Ross holds the school and county record with four wins this event.
Rivera, a senior and three-time state placer, finished 4-0 with three pins to improve to 15-1 lifetime in this event.
After opening the meet with his 72nd, 73rd and 74th pins of his career, he solved second-seeded and 2013 1A state qualifier Robert Napolitano of Gulf in the finals under the Eagles' signature dome light, 6-2.
Rivera, the Eagles' lone defending state champion, was one of three multiple Springstead Invite champions.
For the second straight winter, the top-seeded Landgraff garnered gold. The third-year letterman notched an outstanding 5-0 run featuring a career-best four pins.
Despite never pinning more than three opponents in any of his previous 23 IBTs (individually bracketed tournaments), Landgraff stuck in succession Tampa-Chamberlain's Andrew Hunyh (1:03), Winter Haven's Antoine Cruz (1:37), Tampa-Sickles' Lee Darden (1:40) and FPC's Zac Branning (1:56) to reach the finals.
Landgraff, a two-time state placer, couldn't pin Seffner-Armwood senior Kyre Kelly - so he did the next best thing, dismantling him via an 18-3 technical fall.
"It was harder to win here last year," admitted the 16-year-old Landgraff, who climbed to a team-best 26-1 and walked away with a plaque for Most Pins in the Least Amount of Time. "This time, I felt like I dominated.
"That last kid (Kelly) was pretty strong, but overall I thought I had a decent tournament. I know I've got to keep working on setting up my shots."
On Springstead's second-place finish, "There's really nothing to say, Flagler beat us in our house by 50 points," he remarked. "Everyone, including me, should be held accountable. You can't put the blame on what happened this weekend to any one person."
Like Landgraff, McDonald turned in his second straight gold-medal effort at home. The top-seeded McDonald finished 4-0, featuring three pins.
In his wake, the two-time state qualifier and 2013 state placer pinned Edgewater's Maurice Williams (2:56), Tampa-Hillsborough's Justice Lemon (0:38) and Fivay's Cole Manion (2:58).
In the tourney finals, McDonald (25-0) steamed-rolled FPC junior and second-seeded Alfred Shavers via a technical fall (16-1).
Both Manion and Shavers were credentialed grapplers - each qualified for states last winter.
Despite being named Outstanding Wrestler Lightweights, the Eagle captain took the loss to FPC hard.
"I came in here wanting to avenge what happened at Durant," pointed out the 17-year-old McDonald. "We nearly pulled that tournament out. Then this weekend they just put a whooping on us.
"Yes, the loss bothers me a lot," added McDonald. "This happened after our best practices of the year, so it's kind of shocking to me. I'm not use to losing at home."
In addressing his Springstead Invite gold medal, "Shavers is a tough kid, but I keep telling myself I'm the best kid," said McDonald. "I thought winning here last year was tougher. I won't get a whole lot of satisfaction until I win a state title."
The second-seeded Humphrey (22-5), a senior, pinned three opponents en route to his finals bout against Edgewater senior and 2013 state qualifier Jack Bales.
Bales was awarded a controversial two-point takedown at the buzzer at the edge of the mat to edge Humphrey, 3-1.
As predicted, Weeki Wachee notched four placers to finish eighth with 79.5 points.
"Overall, Kiwanis was a little tougher," pointed out third-year Weeki Wachee mentor Joe Felice. "But this tournament had some tougher weight classes. It was no picnic at 160, 120, 132 or 220.
"I'm not happy with eighth place but I'm not disappointed," he added. "We don't want to wrestle for eighth. But at least now, some people on the outside will start taking notice of us."
The Hornets were paced by senior Anthony Vines at 285 (second), senior Dante Padilla at 120 (third), senior Jesus Nieves at 132 (fourth) and Nathaniel DeJesus at 145 (fourth).
Vines extended his win skein to 11 in a row with three pins across his first three matches. The trio of pins pushed his county-leading total to 29.
In the finals, Chamberlain senior and 2013 state qualifier Robert Mosley ended the proceedings in 33 seconds.
Coming in, Padilla needed four wins to reach the school's 100-win plateau. Going 5-1, Padilla became the first Hornet to achieve the feat with a 2-1 nod over Tampa-Gaither's talented Nick Peshek.
He followed up by earning a third-place bronze medal by edging Fivay's Manion, 4-3.
"I felt like I should have been in the finals," insisted the 17-year-old Padilla, who is tied for the county lead in wins at 35-5 with teammate Vines. "The 100th win was nice; it's something I'll get to tell my kids about."
Hernando High finished 11th overall with 63.5 points. HHS was paced by senior Jesse Gaudin (third) at 220.
The top-seeded Gaudin was upset by Bales in Saturday's semifinals, 4-2.
Gaudin concluded the day 4-1 behind his team-leading third and fourth pins of the tourney over Land O' Lakes sophomore Darryus Lowe (0:51) and Auburndale's Cole Rausch (4:21).
"The brackets were screwed up," explained the 18-year-old Gaudin, who left Spring Hill at 26-2. "I should have met the Edgewater kid in the finals. He's a great competitor. I'm not real disappointed because this isn't the state championship."
Though senior Brennan Ertl failed to place in the loaded 160-pound bracket, Friday's opening-win over Manny Orengo served as his 100th career victory.
With the win, Ertl became the 20th member of the HHS elite fraternity in 42 seasons.
Nature Coast Technical's attempt at a top-10 finish for a sixth straight year ended with a thud. The Sharks finished 19th overall behind 11 wins in 31 bouts.
The lone Shark to place was junior Mark Espinosa at 126 (fourth).
Hernando County's expected fifth team, Central, was a mysterious no show. It marked the second tourney this year in which the Bears failed to participate (the other was Ocala-Forest).
With CHS not in attendance, the Springstead Invite record of 23 teams from 2011 was tied this weekend and not broken.
2014 Springstead Invitational Team Standings:
PL TEAM CLASS PTS
1. Bunnell-Flagler Palm Coast (FPC) 3A-1 241.0
2. Springstead (SPG) 2A-5 190.0
3. Tampa-Hillsborough (HILL) 2A-8 107.5
4. Auburndale (AUB) 2A-7 101.0
5. Orlando-Edgewater (EDGW) 3A-2 97.5
6. Hudson-Fivay (FIV) 2A-9 97.0
7. Wesley Chapel (WC) 1A-6 81.0
8. Weeki Wachee (WW) 1A-6 79.5
9. Tampa-Sickles (SIC) 3A-7 78.0
10. Tampa-Gaither (GAIT) 3A-8 76.5
11. Hernando (HER) 1A-6 63.5
12. Seffner-Armwood (ARM) 2A-7 62.5
13. Tampa-Chamberlain (CHAM) 2A-8 59.5
13. Inverness-Citrus (CIT) 2A-5 59.5
15. Land O' Lakes (LOL) 2A-8 57.0
16. The Villages (TV) 1A-5 56.0
17. Winter Haven (WH) 2A-7 53.5
18. Wesley Chapel-Wiregrass Ranch (WGR) 2A-8 49.0
19. Nature Coast Technical (NCT) 1A-6 38.5
20. New Port Richey-River Ridge (RR) 2A-9 38.0
21. New Port Richey-Gulf (GF) 1A-6 33.0
22. Land O' Lakes-Sunlake (SNL) 2A-8 26.0
23. New Port Richey-Ridgewood (RW) 1A-6 13.0
YEAR NAME CHAMPION PTS.
2014 Foster's Roofing Bunnell-Flagler Palm Coast 241.0
2013 Foster's Roofing Spring Hill-Springstead 229.5
2012 Foster's Roofing Spring Hill-Springstead 248.0
2011 Foster's Roofing Spring Hill-Springstead 251.0
2010 Foster's Roofing Spring Hill-Springstead 328.5
2009 Foster's Roofing Spring Hill-Springstead 255.5
2008 Springstead Inv. Spring Hill-Springstead 216.5
2007 Brijbag Invitational Spring Hill-Springstead 197.0
2006 Brijbag Invitational Tampa-Jesuit 222.5
2005 MasadaHealthcare Tampa-Chamberlain 175.5
2004 MasadaHealthcare Brooksville-Hernando 202.0
2003 MasadaHealthcare Brooksville-Hernando 209.0
2002 Dr. Batista Spring Hill-Springstead 193.0
2001 Dr. Batista Spring Hill-Springstead 253.5
2000 Oak Hill Hospital Spring Hill-Springstead 196.0
1999 Nations Bank Spring Hill-Springstead 209.0
1998 Barnett Bank Spring Hill-Springstead 232.0
1997 Barnett Bank Spring Hill-Springstead 212.5
1996 Barnett Bank Tampa-Jesuit 170.5
1995 Barnett Bank Spring Hill-Springstead 170.5
1994 Barnett Bank Dade City-Pasco 157.5
1993 Barnett Bank Spring Hill-Springstead 181.5
1992 Springstead Inv. Palatka 156.5
1991 Springstead Inv. Spring Hill-Springstead 145.0
2014 Springstead Invitational Finals
106 - Matt Landgraff (SPG) tech. fall. Kyree Kelly (ARM), 18-3.
113 - Jake Kosachiner (FPC) dec. Jarred Lanier (WGR), 6-5 (3OT).
120 - Michael McDonald (SPG) tech. fall. Alfred Shavers (FPC), 16-1.
126 - Joe Galvan (WC) pin Evan Insalaco (FPC), 2:54.
132 - Max Quinones (WGR) dec. Kaz Maia (FPC), 3-2.
138 - Devin Glenn (AUB) major dec. Chase Spurling (GAIT), 13-4.
145 - Jordan Rivera (SPG) dec. Robert Napolitano (GF), 6-2.
152 - Jackson Trivett (FPC) dec. Andrew Martin (SIC), 8-3.
160 - Jordan Mainer (EDGE) dec. Andrew Scherer (FIV), 6-4.
170 - Colton Jackson (TV) pin Dakota Jordan (GAIT), 0:53.
182 - Nicco Lightfoot (FIV) pin Max Reynolds (RR), 5:53.
195 - Scott Pendleton (AUB) dec. Jonathan Muniz (FPC), 9-2.
220 - Jack Bales (EDGE) dec. Corey Humphrey (SPG), 3-1.
285 - Robert Mosley (CHA) pin Anthony Vines (WW), 0:33.
2014 Springstead Invitational Consolation Finals
106 - Zac Branning (FPC) pin Brandon Smith (WW), 3:20.
113 - Jacob West (HILL) ec. Krystian Velez (GAIT), 8-4.
120 - Dante Padilla (WW) dec. Cole Manion (FIV), 4-3.
126 - Jeremy Gardner (HILL) pin Mark Espinosa (NCT), 1:50.
132 - Andrew Smith (SPG) dec. Jesus Nieves (WW), 4-3.
138 - Eric Rosso (FPC) pin Sean Nugent (WC), 4:14.
145 - Kory Bryl (FPC) pin Daniel Soto (TV),1:46.
152 - Jacob Eweles (WH) dec. Jesus Bejarano (HILL), 3-2.
160 - Justin Boyle (FPC) dec. Brandon Taylor (CIT), 8-5.
170 - Connor Knauer (HILL) dec. Cedrick Lowe (LOL), 3-2.
182 - Nathan Love (WC) pin Peterson Joseph (EDGE), 3:57.
195 - Nick Tyler (SIC) pin Bradley Wiesenauser (CIT), 2:03.
220 - Jesse Gaudin (HER) pin Colton Rausch (AUB), 4:21.
285 - Travis O'Neil (SPG) pin Willie Edom (ARM), 1:54.
2014 Springstead Invitational Awards
Fastest Pin - Zac Branning in 15 seconds (FPC).
Most Pins in Least Amount of Time - Matt Landraff four in 6:16 (SPG).
Outstanding Wrestler Lightweights - Michael McDonald (SPG).
Outstanding Wrestler Heavyweights - Jordan Mainer (EDGE).
Springstead Individual Results
WGT NAME W L PINS PL
106 Landgraff, Matt 5 0 4 1st
113 Rivera, Richie 2 2 2 -
120 McDonald, Michael 4 0 3 1st
126 D'Alessandro, Quentin 4 2 2 -
132 Smith. Andrew 4 1 3 3rd
138 Williams, Travis 2 2 2 -
145 Rivera, Jordan 4 0 3 1st
152 Holdway, Robert 2 2 1 -
160 Swift, Billy 2 2 0 -
170 Buonanno, Vincent 3 2 0 -
182 Lindsey, Matt 0 2 0 -
195 Burzumato, Ryan 0 2 0 -
220 Humphrey, Corey 3 1 3 2nd
285 O'Neil, Travis 4 1 4 3rd
TOTALS (14) 39 19 27 -
NCT Individual Results
WGT NAME W L PINS PL
120 Gibson, Jordan 0 2 0 -
126 Espinosa, Mark 3 2 0 4th
132 DeFranco, Joey 1 2 0 -
138 Jazikoff, Jeramie 2 2 1 -
145 Alicea, Raivyn 0 2 0 -
152 Alicea, Christian 0 2 0 -
182 Gray, Le'Shaun 2 2 1 -
195 Ritchie, Frank 1 2 1 -
220 Contegiacomo, Anthony 2 2 1 -
285 Brooks, Dean 0 2 0 -
TOTALS (10) 11 20 4 -
Hernando Individual Results
WGT NAME W L PINS PL
106 Watson, Jordan 0 2 0 -
113 Hester, Matt 0 2 0 -
120 Mosher, Bailey 2 2 0 -
126 Watson, Austin 3 2 1 -
132 Fouts, Johnny 0 2 0 -
138 Maniates, Codey 2 2 2 -
145 Swain, Ricky 1 2 0 -
152 Hammett, Colton 0 2 0 -
160 Ertl, Brennan 2 2 1 -
170 Webber, Austin 1 2 1 -
182 Terkevich, Abel 3 2 2 -
195 Whitaker, Lane 1 2 0 -
220 Gaudin, Jesse 4 1 4 3rd
TOTALS 19 25 11 -
Weeki Wachee Individual Results
WGT NAME W L PINS PL
106 Smith, Brandon 4 2 1 4th
120 Padilla, Dante 5 1 1 3rd
126 Gibson, Hunter 0 2 0 -
132 Nieves, Jesus 3 2 2 4th
138 Enoch, Brandon 0 2 0 -
145 DeJesus, Nathaniel 5 2 2 -
152 Beck, Gavin 0 2 0 -
220 Gathright, Kyle 0 2 0 -
285 Vines, Anthony 3 1 3 2nd
TOTALS 20 16 9 -