Osceola High’s wrestling team is gearing up for one of the biggest regular-season events it hosts all year.
The Knockout Christmas Classic, held Dec. 28-29, will feature a handful of individual and team state champions from 10 states: Florida, Georgia, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Tennessee, West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Among the field, what OHS Coach and event host Jim Bird “the toughest field ever” will be Florida’s reigning Class 2A (Lake Gibson) and 3A (South Dade) state champions, 2018 state duals semifinalists Fleming Island and Jensen Beach and the state 3A champions from Georgia (Sonoraville) and Alabama (Thompson).
The Kowboys prepped for it by going to the South Dade Duals last weekend, where two-time 126-pound state champ Malyke Hines went 10-0, state runner-up Jaekus Hines went 9-1, Chase Fuller was 7-2 and Zayveon Mitchell was 6-3.
“It is always a learning experience down there,” Bird said. “We got some good matches in.”
If you’re looking for wrestling action this weekend, Harmony will host its Christmas Tournament beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. The 20-team field includes Winter Springs, Orange City University, Forest Hill, Rockledge, St. Cloud, Cypress Creek, Lake Mary and Lake Brantley.
The Longhorns’ tune up for that was the Johnny Rouse tournament at Hagerty High (who was third in the state in 3A last year), and finished in third place.
Dylan Jones went 7-0 on the weekend and won the 126-pound title. Alvaro Morzano (7-1 at 120), J.C. McNichols (5-1 at 126) and Juan Gomez (7-1 at 195) were third place, and freshman Melvin Even (6-2) was fourth at 132 after falling behind 8-2 against a senior in an early match and rallied to win by one point.
“It was a very intense tournament with great matches. The team fought well for two days and saw some improvement,” HHS Coach Vic Lorenzano said.
In other prep highlights from the past week:
Poinciana’s boys basketball team played to its M.O. — playing close games — last week with a 56-53 win over Ocoee and a 52-48 loss to District 6A-13 rival Bishop Moore …
Harmony shocked many with a 46-43 win over state-ranked Melbourne in a District 8A-6 game. The followed it with a more offensive 77-71 win Monday over Bayside and, with the wins, the Longhorns (4-3) are over .500 …
Osceola is competing in this week’s City of Palms Classic in Fort Myers. The Kowboys (4-3) warmed up with a 74-48 win Friday over Tohopekaliga.
In girls basketball, Osceola moved to 5-2 with wins over Harmony (47-35) and Tohopekaliga (63-16) last week. The Kowgirls played Gateway on Tuesday in an OBC and District 9A-7 showdown …
St. Cloud hosts its holiday Bulldog Showdown Tournament beginning today at 3:45 p.m. The Bulldogs (7-2) host Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, out of Canada …
City of Life moved to 5-3 with a 65-45 win over Cornerstone Charter. Guard Debra Buggs continued her hot shooting season with 25 points, including 6-of-10 from the three-point arc. Omega Payton added 16 points, Janellise Marty added 11 and point guard Reyna Buggs dished out 10 assists.
In girls soccer, Nicole Chano’s goal gave Poinciana a 1-0 win at Sebring in District 3A-10 play. The Eagles are trying to make it back-to-back playoff appearances after qualifying for the first time in school history last year …
Harmony (8-0-2)defeated Tohopekaliga 3-1 last week and notched a 2-2 tie with Ridge on Monday. Noteworthy, it was the first time the Longhorns surrendered goals to a county or District 5A-9 opponent in over two years.