Brendan Abdon knocked off state-place winner Alex Rosario to win the 132-pound title at the Lake Gibson USA Wrestling Invitational.
LAKELAND — While many of the Lake Gibson wrestling nation are still celebrating its double-state championship season, fans got a glimpse at the future of the program on Saturday.
Brendan Abdon, an incoming freshman, knocked off Alex Rosario 6-4 to win the 132-pound pool championship at the Lake Gibson USA Wrestling Invitational on Saturday. Rosario was a sixth-place medalist at Brandon this past season and is now wrestling for Dover Strawberry Crest.
Knotted 4-4 late in the third period, Abdon picked up a takedown for the win.
“It was one of (my biggest wins),” Abdon said. “I knew I could take him down. I do what I do and I go to a shot that works best. I got it and rode him out for the win.
“It was a good opportunity to get my name on the map and show people I am here for the season and hopefully do well. I did pretty good at Disney Duals and beat some good kids there, too.”
Lake Gibson’s Canden Cunningham, 16, won the 195-pound pool, beating Andre Martensen from Jesuit twice. Cunningham was down 5-4 in the second match before pulling out the win with a pin.
“I had two good matches but I am kind of out of shape coming from the off-season,” said Cunningham, who wrestled at 182 this past season.
Frank Solorzano, an eighth-grader, who has wrestled eight years in Lake Gibson’s club program and will attend Victory Christian this year, won the 145-pound pool with a 2-0 mark. He also beat Lake Gibson’s Curtis Felton, who was a third-place finisher at the Brian Bain Invitational this past season, 5-3.
“He is a very good wrestler, a solid wrestler, who knows his basics,” Solorzano said.
Also winning varsity pools were Joey Klein (125) from McKeel, Ty Young (155) from Strawberry Crest and Braden Basile (112) from Tampa Jesuit.
“We had a lot of new faces out there. We didn’t wrestle our juniors and seniors, we let some of the younger guys get some experience. It is off-season and we are just trying to build,” Lake Gibson head coach Danny Walker said. “These USA wrestling and AAU tournaments really help get kids the matches they need in the off-season.”
Lake Gibson was also accepted to compete at the 25th annual Walsh Jesuit Ironman Invitational at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Dec. 7-8.
“It is the most prestigious regular season tournament in the country," said Walker, whose defending state champion Braves will also attend the Grappler Fall Classic at Michigan State and the Super 32 preseason tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, both in October. "We got seven kids invited. It is the best of the best and you have to apply to get in."
Lake Gibson will also host a dual meet tournament Aug. 25 with club teams arriving from across the state.
Bill Kemp can be reached at Bill.Kemp@theledger.com; follow him on Twitter @BillKempSports
Varsity: B. Basile (112) Jesuit, 4-0; J. Klein (125) McKeel, 5-0; Brendan Abdon (132) Lake Gibson 4-0; T. Solorzano (145) Victory, 2-0; T. Young (155) Strawberry Crest, 2-1; C. Cunningham (195) Lake Gibson, 2-0; Junior Varsity: B. Basile (110) Jesuit, 2-0; G. Butler (120) Lake Gibson, 4-0, T. Solarzano (135) Victory, 2-0; Schoolboy: G. Nolan (88) Van., 4-0; J. Moliere (120) CFWA 2-0; R. Randolph (126) CFWA, 2-0; Novice: A. Ortiz (70) Attack, 2-0; G. Nolan (83), 3-0; B. Smith (95) 2-1; Intermediate: K.J. Vasquez (81) Charlotte, 2-0.