6 Sharks grapplers advance to regional tournament

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On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Ponte Vedra High School completed its most successful 2A-4 District wrestling tournament in several years, as six Sharks wrestlers advanced to the 2A Regional Championships to be held in Tallahassee on March 1.

The Sharks will be led by senior co-captain and district champion Troy Maritato at 182 pounds. Maritato won his title by coming back from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat St Augustine's Ryan Murphy by a final score of 8-6.

Ethan Baur at 145 pounds completed a solid regular season (31-12), finishing second in the district. Freshmen Mikey Stephens at 113 pounds and Julian Villegas at 106 pounds placed third.  

Completing the list of region qualifiers were Alex de Almeida at 138 pounds and Rett Maritato at 152 pounds, who both finished fourth in the district.

Wrestlers who finish fourth or better in the Regional Championships will qualify for the state wrestling tournament in Kissimmee on March 8.

“The boys performed well at the district tournament,” said Ponte Vedra wrestling head coach Josean Gonzalez. “I would have liked the whole team to advance to the regional tournament, but this is our first step to becoming a competitive program. The increased difficulty of the schedule definitely made a difference this season. We have to really lock in and kick up the intensity this next week to prepare for regionals.”

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