Jupiter's Jesse Stepanos improves to 59-0 and is two wins from state wrestling crown
Friday, February 15, 2013
by Blake Hasenzahl
With two pins Friday in the first day of the state wrestling tournament, Jupiter's Jesse Stephanos improved to 59-0 on the season and is two victories away from securing a state championship.
Stephanos -- who pinned his first opponent in just 34 seconds and his second in 1:59 -- will have to defeat Osceola's Jhalen Flanders today at The Lakeland Center to reach the championship match.
As a team, Jupiter is tied for 12th as powerhouses Brandon, Osceola and Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas have dominated the Class 3A bracket.
Laurence Kosoy, a 132-pounder for Olympic Heights, is the only other local wrest er with a shot at a state championship today. Wrestling in Class 2A, Kosoy won his first two matches and has at minimum guaranteed himself a spot on the podium. He won his first match by forfeit and earned a pin of Tallahassee-Lincoln's ReSean McArthur in the second round. Kosoy will need to defeat Bartow's Brian Pennington today to reach the championship match.
Palm Beach Gardens has three wrestlers who will compete in the Class 3A consolation rounds with Jimmyson Jeanite (132 pounds), Xavier Kelly (182) and Andres Rodriguez (220). Jupiter has two competitors in the wrestlebacks -- Alex Radli (106) and Blake Nikkinen (113) -- as does Wellington, with Andrew Mitchell (106) and Brian MacFarlane (120). Seminole Ridge's Trace Thome is also in the consolation round at 145 pounds.
In Class 2A, Olympic Heights' John Cleristor (106) and Matt Sincoff (138) remain alive, but must win their next two matches to reach the podium.
Also alive in consolation rounds are Andrew Perea (145) and Connor Whipple (170) of St. Andrew's, along with Jupiter Christian's Tag Wilber (152) and American Heritage heavyweight Richard Desir.