Sports Editor

It’s time for the wrestling season’s first postseason.

The district tournaments for the FHSAA’s second dual wrestling state championships take place this week. Celebration hosts the District 3A-5 tournament Wednesday night, and Osceola looked to defend its 2018 district title. St. Cloud, Gateway, the host Storm, Haines City, Ridge Community, Lake Nona and Melbourne will compete.

Harmony, Liberty and Poinciana head to New Smyrna Beach for the District 2A-6 tournament; the Longhorns won it in 2018. East River, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach, Pine Ridge and Seabreeze will also provide resistance. The district champion and runner-up at each meet will claim a spot in the first round of regional duals, scheduled for Jan. 17.

St. Cloud earned a runner-up spot last year. Osceola and Harmony will host those regional meets next week. Harmony fell at Springstead  to South Lake with a lineup Coach Vic Lorenzano said was depleted by injuries. Osceola won its regional and advanced to the state tournament, which it will host, Jan. 25-26, as it did last year.

As been the standard of late, Osceola will be led by its lighter-weight wrestlers, like Zayveon Mitchell (113 pounds), Jaekus Hines (120), Josue Calderon (126), Malyke Hines (138), Adriel Martinez (145), Chase Fuller (152) and Nolin Eaddy (160), who all won Orange Belt Conference titles earlier this season or have made state tournament appearances. Look out for Celebration’s Ke’Shawn Peterson (126) and Alfonso Serrano (182), Gateway’s Jared Colon (195) and St. Cloud’s Christian Rangel (170).

In a departure from last year, Harmony Coach Vic Lorenzano set up his team to compete the week prior to the district duals, and the Longhorns got some momentum, placing fourth in the Lake Mary Tournament of Champions behind Southwest Miami, Winter Springs and Hagerty, teams that will have an impact at the regional and state level in both the duals and the traditional wrestling postseason in March.

“It was two days of intense competition and we couldn’t be prouder of our guys and their efforts,” Lorenzano said.

Freshman Aiden Poe went 7-1 at 106 and finished third. Alvaro Morzan (120) went 5-2 and placed fifth, and Dylan Jones (5-1) was third at 126. Freshman Melvin Ewen (132) and sophomore Juan Gomez (195) reached their respective championship finals and would both finish runners-up in tough brackets.