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South Dade Wins Sixth Straight Title

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Posted: Saturday, March 16, 2019 10:33 am

The South Dade Buccaneers won their sixth consecutive state championship by taking home the 3A crown at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.

“It was a culmination of our young kids stepping up and our studs doing what we expected them to do and then other teams faltered a little bit,” head coach Victor Balmeceda said.

South Dade (197.5) had over 100 points from its nearest competitor Fleming Island (96). Southwest Miami (89), Columbus (86), and Winter Springs (84) rounded out the top five.

“The teams we were going against in Fleming Island and Southwest have talented enough teams to push us, but they were the ones getting upset,” Balmeceda said. “I knew they knew they had enough guys. Fleming Island had 12 qualifiers, but everywhere you looked they were falling off. I know that time will come where there will be a weekend when South Dade is going to have that. But that’s hard to watch and you see your hopes and dreams of winning a state title going down the drain.”

Four South Dade wrestlers—senior Brevin Balmeceda, junior Bretli Reyna, senior Todd Perry, and senior Tyler Orta--won individual state crowns while five others—sophomore Joshua Swan, senior Jacob Delgado, junior Eric Temes, sophomore Adrian Neco, and freshman Adrian Morales—were

top-four finishers.

“It’s amazing seeing a kid from not knowing if he can qualify for state to him being in the state semifinals,” Balmeceda said.  “It takes the pressure off of you when the young kids step up like that and it’s no longer a question of 

winning a state title, it’s how much you’re going to win by.”

Brevin Balmeceda became only the second four-time state champ in Miami-Dade County history by winning a 7-0 decision in the 160-pound final over Manatee’s Tylynn Lukens capping a 61-1 season.

“It was more of a sense of relief because we knew he was capable of winning,” Victor Balmeceda said. “You’re satisfied with the fact that we could get him to that level where he walks on the mat every time it was not a matter of whether he was going to win a match, it was how badly he was going to win. I hate it say it and it may sound arrogant, but it got to the point where you don’t sit in the corner nervous anymore about whether he’s going to win or loss. You feel pretty comfortable and confident. You’re just hoping nothing bad happens—an injury or a bad call or something like that.”

Balmeceda joined former South Dade wrestler Earl Hall (2008-11) as four-time state champs and the two could have company next year as Reyna won his third title with a 3-2 win in a tiebreaker over Hagerty’s Joseph Gonzalez in the 132-pound final finishing 56-3 on the season.

“Bretli deserves as much attention and recognition to becoming the next four-time state champion,” Balmeceda said. “He is a three-time state champ and he’s only lost three or four times in his high school career.”

Perry became a two-time state champ by defeating Newsome’s Jake Finken 13-8 in the final ending the year 49-3 overcoming injuries.

“He did it with a torn LCL in his knee and stiches in his eye,” Balmeceda said. “Most kids would have had to call it a wrap. But when he injured it the week to go to districts he manned up, fought through, and won his second straight state title.”

Orta won his first state title in his senior season with a 3-2 decision in the final over Countryside’s Steve Chopek. Orta went 52-4.

“He’s overshadowed by others who have done more than that, but that’s a great accomplishment as well,” Balmeceda said.

South Dade had 11 wrestlers qualify for state, one less than Fleming Island, and had a strong first day of competition to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the title as Morales (106), Delgado (113), and Neco (120) each won two matches to set the tone.

“That took a lot of weight off of our backs and gave us some breathing room,” Balmeceda said.

Swan (138) finished second falling 1-0 in the final to finish 51-6 in his sophomore season. Delgado (113) took third going 48-10. Temes (145), a junior, took fourth going 50-12. Morales (106) finished fourth in his freshman year going 46-13 and Neco (120), a sophomore, also finished fourth at 18-7. Senior Kenneth Crouse (220) also placed finishing sixth at 53-11.

Southridge took 11th with 53.5 points behind senior 152-pound undefeated state champ Johnny Lovett capping a 58-0 season and a second-place finish from senior 113-pounder Christopher Busutil, who went 65-4.

TOURNAMENT RESULTS

106 – Rowland, Hag, dec. Nguyen, Coun, 3-0; 113 – Wadle, Man, dec. Busutil, Sou, 8-1; 120 – Jackson, FI, maj. dec. J. Hines, Osc, 10-2; 126 – Orta, SD, dec. Chopek, Coun, 3-2; 132 – Reyna, SD, winner in tiebreaker over Gonzalez, Hag, 3-2; 138 – M. Hines, Osc, dec. Swan, SD, 3-2; 145 – Hernandez, SW, dec. Contreras, WS, 7-1; 152 – Lovett, Sou, maj. dec. Villalobos, CP, 16-7; 160 – Balmeceda, SD, dec. Lukens, Man, 7-0; 170 – Perry, SD, dec. Finken, News, 13-8; 182 – Vidaud, SW, winner in tiebreaker over Bragado, TC, 3-2; 195 – Burburija, Coun, pinned Dascoli, Col; 220 – Canedo, PBG pinned Onalja, EB; 285 – Ruff, San, winner in ultimate tiebreaker over Lampkin, Lake.

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