Jupiter's Jesse Stephanos caps perfect season with 182-pound 3A wrestling title
Saturday, February 16, 2013
by Blake Hasenzahl
Heading into the final round of the FHSAA wrestling finals, Palm Beach County had a shot at a team state title with Olympic Heights in Class 2A and an individual champion in Jupiter's Jesse Stephanos in Class 3A.
Stephanos was the only one to survive the two-day gauntlet and emerge with gold around his neck Saturday night at the Lakeland Center.
The senior 182-pounder defeated Corey Ray of East River 6-0 in the championship bout to cap a dazzling 61-0 season.
Stephanos dominated from the get-go, taking down Ray with 50 left in the first periods. Starting on the bottom for the second period, it took him just 26 seconds to land a reversal for a 4-0 lead. He took down Ray one last time just a minute into the final period to seal the victory.
Olympic Heights had two wrestlers in the finals and was tied with Springstead for the team lead with 93 points, coming back from being in third place earlier in the day. Had Laurence Kosoy (132-pounds) or Ronaldo Abrey (195) each won their matches or if one of them one via pin - the Class 2A title would belong to Heights.
Kosoy had possibly the toughest opponent in the 2A finals in two-time state champ Jamarius Jackson from Riverdale. Jackson won the match handily, 27-12.
All of the points Kosoy scored were given to him by Jackson, as Jackson landed takedown after takedown, allowing Kosoy back up after each one. Jackson landed 12 takedowns on Kosoy in only two periods before winning by technical fall (ahead by 15 points) with :10 left in the second period.
Abrey lost on a third-period stalling call to Shane Carpenter of Creekside. Abrey went down 3-0 early into the second period, but scored a takedown with 10 left in the second to cut the deficit to one point heading into the third. He tied the bout just 4 seconds into the final period with an escape after starting on the bottom.
Abrey was called for stalling after evading a Carpenter takedown attempt by going out of bounds.
Olympic Heights finished third as a team. John Cleristor placed fourth in the 106-pound division.
Alex Radli of Jupiter placed sixth in the 106-pound division. Bradley avenged a first-round loss by rattling off three straight wins before falling to the eventual third-place winner in the consolation semifinals. Jupiter's Blake Nikkinen placed fifth at 113 pounds. Wellington 120-pounder Briar MacFarlane placed sixth in Class 3A. Richard Desir of American Heritage placed fourth in the heavyweight class in 1A.