Harmony sent 12 men to the wrestling finals, winning six individual championships, to successfully defend its Orange Belt Conference Championship with a 242.0 to 196.5 win over Osceola on Feb. 5.
St. Cloud finished in third place with 132.5 points and Celebration was fourth with 86.5.
It was Harmony’s second OBC championship in school history, as Osceola had dominated the championships for more than a dozen years before the Longhorns broke their stranglehold last year.
As was the case last year, it was Harmony’s overall depth that made the difference. In addition to the six first place and six secondplace finishes, a third place finish and scored points in all 14 weight classes.
“Tournaments rarely go as expected,” Harmony Head Coach Vic Lorenzano said. “We had some kids step up and exceed expectations but had a couple of matches not go our way. Still this was a great win for our team and program.”
For Harmony, JC McNichols (31-1 on the season) and Will Jacobson (30-5) repeated at OBC Champions – winning at 134 and 197-pounds respectively. Other Longhorn champions included Brent McNichols (124), Peyton Britton (154), Nelson Toro (222) and Darren Davis (287).
Osceola was not without its standouts. Freshman sensation Anderson Heap went to 28-2 on the season with a win at 108-pounds and defending state champions Cooper Haase (122) and Jaekus Hines (140) also won their weight classes, as did Gunner Holland (147) and senior Nolin Eaddy (197).
“Congratulations to Harmony on winning OBC’s, they wrestled really well,” Osceola Head Coach Jim Bird said. “Overall, there weren’t any real surprises during the tournament, we won the weight classes I thought we would win.”
St. Cloud had two OBC champions, as top-seeds Wilfred Martinez (14-4) won at 162-pounds and Spencer O’Neill (23-8) won at 184. Celebration’s Kyler Peraza won the 115-pound title with a narrow 8-6 win over Harmony junior Kade Toner.
Local teams will have one more week of the regular season preparations before turning their attention to district competition. Osceola will compete in the Class 3A, District 5 hosted by Celebration High School and St. Cloud will host the Class 3A, District 9 on Feb. 17. Harmony will host the Class 2A, District 5 Tournament. Both the Kowboys and Longhorns will be favored to win district team titles and both expect to qualify the majority of their wrestlers for regionals a week later.
Osceola will be attempting to extend their remarkable streak of at least one individual champion for the last 14 years.