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Winter sports yield seven championships

Archdiocesan high schools crown two wrestling champs, earn five more championships

St. Brendan cheerleaders pose with their coaches and trophy for their sixth consecutive state championship, won Jan. 23, 2021.

Photographer: COURTESY

St. Brendan cheerleaders pose with their coaches and trophy for their sixth consecutive state championship, won Jan. 23, 2021.

MIAMI | Columbus wrestler Christian Guzman and Cardinal Gibbons wrestler Nicholas Yancey each won state champions in their divisions. They add their championships to the five winter-sport teams who won state titles this school year. (See story here.)

Cardinal Gibbons won the Class 4A girls soccer state title, while Belen Jesuit won an all-Jesuit battle to take the 5A boys soccer title. St. Thomas Aquinas won its first title in girls basketball. St. Brendan and Immaculata-La Salle also won cheerleading titles. See their stories here and here.

 

STATE WRESTLING

When Columbus junior Guzman won the Class 3A 106-pound class at the FHSAA Individual Bracket Tournament State Finals, he became the Explorers’ fourth individual wrestling champion, joining John Acona (1992), Adrian Tramutola (1993) and Nicholas Wethy (2013).

Guzman helped the Explorers finish ninth with 52.5 points. Homestead South Dade won the title with 164 points.

Columbus sophomore Derrick Hart went 4-2 in the 285-pound class. He beat Kissimmee Osceola’s Cody Carter by forfeit, then fell to eventual champion Gerald Grevaes of Dr. Phillips 5-2 in the quarterfinals. Hart advanced to the third-place match before falling to Henry Jones by fall in 4:11.

Gibbons sophomore Yancey won the Class 1A 106-pound class, the Chiefs’ first individual title since Christopher Williams won the 2017 Class 1A 195-pound title. Yancey guided the Chiefs to a fifth-place finish with 97 points. Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy won the 1A title with 196 points.

Senior Tyler Cabral took second in the 138-pound class, falling to Somerset’s Chase Gillis 10-2 in the final. Chiefs junior Daniel Korchensky took third in the 160 class. Junior Payton Vargas took fifth in the 106-pound class.

Cardinal Gibbons also advanced to the Dual-Bracket state meet in Class 1A in January. But the Chiefs lost to champion Somerset Academy 39-21 in the quarterfinals.

Stefano Naos, left, and Christian Bargueiras (7) celebrate Naos' goal during the second overtime of the Belen Jesuit Wolverines' 2-1 overtime victory over the Tampa Jesuit Tigers on Saturday, March 6, 2021, in the FHSAA Class 5A Boys Soccer Championship Game at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. The goal put Belen Jesuit ahead and helped the Wolverines win their second state title.

Photographer: LYNN RAMSEY | FC

Stefano Naos, left, and Christian Bargueiras (7) celebrate Naos' goal during the second overtime of the Belen Jesuit Wolverines' 2-1 overtime victory over the Tampa Jesuit Tigers on Saturday, March 6, 2021, in the FHSAA Class 5A Boys Soccer Championship Game at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. The goal put Belen Jesuit ahead and helped the Wolverines win their second state title.

Cardinal Gibbons freshmen Samantha Fuini and Julianna Torres (7) celebrate Fuini's goal in the first half during Cardinal Gibbons' 2-0 victory over Panama City Beach Arnold in the FHSAA Class 4A girls soccer championship game Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. The Chiefs won their first girls soccer championship.

Photographer: LYNN RAMSEY | FC

Cardinal Gibbons freshmen Samantha Fuini and Julianna Torres (7) celebrate Fuini's goal in the first half during Cardinal Gibbons' 2-0 victory over Panama City Beach Arnold in the FHSAA Class 4A girls soccer championship game Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand. The Chiefs won their first girls soccer championship.

St. Thomas Aquinas took 17th in the Class 2A individual-bracket meet with 32 points, trailing winner Punta Gorda Charlotte’s 153.5 points. Archbishop McCarthy tied for 44th with 4 points. Belen Jesuit tied for 49th with 3 points.

Michael Moss had St. Thomas Aquinas’ best finish, taking second in the 182-pound class.

Archbishop McCarthy senior Daniel Quiroz-Cerceda went 2-2 in the 145-pound class. Fellow senior Jaden Villalobos went 1-2 in the 120-pound class.

Belen Jesuit had two wrestlers qualify. Lucas Amaya went 1-2 in the 145-pound class. Manuel Dominguez went 0-2 in the 138 class, while Lucas Amaya went 0-2 in the 138-pound class.

 

GIRLS SOCCER

Cardinal Gibbons won the state championship and Lourdes and Archbishop McCarthy fell short in the state final. Click on the links for the stories.

In Class 6A, St. Thomas Aquinas fell to state finalist Lourdes 1-1, 4-3 in penalty kicks in an all-archdiocesan Region 4 final. It was the farthest advance for the Raiders since winning the 2017 4A title.

 

BOYS SOCCER

Belen Jesuit won the state championship while Christopher Columbus reached the Region 4-7A final, falling to champion Naples Gulf Coast 3-1. It was the Explorers’ farthest advance since winning the 2015 Class 5A title.

In Class 6A, St. Thomas Aquinas fell in the region semifinals for the second consecutive year, this time losing to Fort Lauderdale 2-1.

In Class 2A, Archbishop Carroll reached the Region 4 semifinals, making the postseason for the first time since 2016. The Bulldogs beat Avant Garde 1-1, 1-0 in penalty kicks. The Bulldogs then lost to Divine Savior 4-1 in the region semifinals.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL

St. Thomas Aquinas won its first state championship in basketball. Read the story here.

In Class 6A, Lourdes Academy made it an all-archdiocese Region 4 final, falling to St. Thomas Aquinas 67-37. It was the first time Lourdes reached the region final since 2019.

St. Thomas Aquinas guard Maya Williams drives past Charlotte's Adriana Iorfida during the second half of St. Thomas Aquinas' 62-48 victory over Punta Gorda Charlotte on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2021, in the FHSAA Class 6A girls basketball state semifinals at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. The Raiders won their first state championship.

Photographer: LYNN RAMSEY | FC

St. Thomas Aquinas guard Maya Williams drives past Charlotte's Adriana Iorfida during the second half of St. Thomas Aquinas' 62-48 victory over Punta Gorda Charlotte on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2021, in the FHSAA Class 6A girls basketball state semifinals at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. The Raiders won their first state championship.

Three archdiocesan teams made the regionals in Class 4A. Msgr. Pace almost reached the Final Four, falling to Delray Beach American Heritage 50-30. It was the farthest the Spartans had advanced since reaching the 2015 4A region finals. The Spartans won District 15, then beat District 16 runner-up St. Brendan 52-24 in the region quarterfinals and District 16 champ Key West 56-47. Cardinal Gibbons fell to Mater Lakes Academy 63-60 in the region quarterfinals.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL

Columbus reached the Region 4-7A boys basketball final, falling to Davie Western 74-46. After a 2020 first-round exit ended a five-year playoff drought, the Explorers finished runner-up in District 15, then beat Miami Ferguson 66-51 and avenged a district-tournament loss to Coral Gables with a 67-52 region-semifinal win. It was the farthest Columbus had advanced since a 2010 region-final run.

In Class 6A, St. Thomas Aquinas finished runner-up in District 14. The Raiders then lost 53-32 to Martin County in the region quarterfinals.

In Class 5A, Belen Jesuit finished runner-up in District 16, making the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Wolverines then lost 59-35 to Miami Norland in the region quarterfinals.

In Class 4A, Immaculata La Salle finished runner-up in District 16, making the regionals for the first time since a 2012 region final berth. The Royal Lions, however, had to forfeit their region quarterfinal against North Miami due to COVID.

Archbishop Carroll reached the Region 4-3A final – their farthest-ever advance - falling to Miami Country Day 62-56. The Bulldogs finished as District 15 runner-up, then beat Westminster Christian 56-53 in the quarterfinals. Carroll then avenged the District 15 final loss to Florida Christian with a 69-68 region semifinal victory.

Chaminade-Madonna almost made it an all-archdiocesan region final. The Lions beat Sports Leadership Institute 71-53 in the region quarterfinals, then fell to Miami Country Day 65-59 in the region semifinals.

 

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING

Archbishop McCarthy qualified five lifters for the Class 2A state meet at Suwannee High School in Live Oak.

Dana Quiroz had Archbishop McCarthy’s best finish. She took fourth in the 119-pound class with a 285 total. She bench-pressed 135 pounds and clean-and-jerked 150.

Teammate Chatelle Jordan took sixth in the 183 class with a 325 total. She bench-pressed 155 pounds and clean-and-jerked 170.

Jordan Thomas finished 13th in the 101 class, and teammate Ella McLaughlin took 14th. Both had 205-pound totals for the Mavericks.

Fellow Maverick Gianna Spadafino finished 14th in the 129-pound class with a 275 total.

 

COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING

St. Brendan won its sixth state championship and Immaculata-La Salle its second. Click on the links for the stories.

Msgr. Pace finished second behind Immaculata-La Salle in the Class 1A Extra-Large Non-Tumbling division. The Spartans finished with 73.10 points.

Archbishop McCarthy qualified for the state meet but did not complete its semifinal routine in the Class 1A Small Non-Tumbling semifinals. The Mavericks finished eighth in the Region 4 meet, qualifying for the semifinals.

Immaculata-La Salle cheerleaders pose for a photo after the winners were announced at the state finals competition, Jan. 23, 2021 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Photographer: COURTESY

Immaculata-La Salle cheerleaders pose for a photo after the winners were announced at the state finals competition, Jan. 23, 2021 at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

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