OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee High School Brahman wrestlers are set to compete in the seventh annual Cradle Cancer tournament on Jan. 8 and 9 in Jensen Beach.
The event was first created by Jensen Beach coach Tom McMath as a way to raise money for the Cradle Cancer Foundation, which provides assistance to teachers and immediate family members fighting cancer.
New Okeechobee head coach Johnathon Kemp has taken the reigns of the program this year from longtime program leader Bruce Jahner. On Dec. 5, the Brahmans wrestlers competed in the Kenny Pfeiffer Invitational at Sebastian River High School. Out of the 10 teams competing in the event, Okeechobee placed fourth.
Individually, sophomore Charlie Armstrong took first place, senior Travis McKenna and junior Jose Monrroy placed second in their respective weight classes, and senior Gabriel Bowen placed third.
Last season the Brahmans brought home a regional championship to Okeechobee, winning by nine points over runner-up St. Thomas Aquinas, followed by a third-place finish by Miami Southridge and fourth place by Heritage. The Brahmans sent seven wrestlers to the state tournament after regionals — Isaac Herron, Charlie Armstrong, Travis McKenna, Jose Monrroy, Gabriel Bowen, Cody Deloney and Jayme Scurry.
The nickname that went around the program for the seven wrestlers who went on to represent Okeechobee in Kissimmee was “The Magnificent Seven.”
At the state tournament, it was then-sophomore Jose Monrroy who was the highest placer for Okeechobee, finishing eighth.
Monrroy’s biggest match came when he defeated his opponent from St. Thomas Aquinas in overtime. It was the same match-up that had occurred in the state duals six weeks earlier. In the first match-up, St. Thomas Aquinas came out victorious. This time, however, Monrroy turned the tables and came away with a 3-2 win in sudden death overtime.
Regional duals are scheduled for later in January, with state duals immediately following. Regional duals are set for Jan. 14 while state duals are on Jan. 22 and 23 in Kissimmee.