PALM BAY– The Okeechobee High School Brahman wrestling team advanced to the state tournament after winning the regional championship on Jan. 16 at Heritage High School.
Last week the Brahmans won the district tournament after advancing to the finals where they defeated Suncoast in a rout 72-12.
In the first round of the regional tournament Okeechobee took on Melbourne, who they defeated 52-27.
“The team started out strong and didn’t look back,” said Brahman wrestling coach Bruce Jahner. “We had some changes in the line up this week and each wrestler went out and performed what was expected of them. I explained that if we want to win this tournament each member of the team had a job to do, that was to stay off your back and wrestle for six minutes.”
Jayden Mills, Cody Deloney, and Shaun Penrod rose to their coach’s challenge and led the way with solid matches to start the round. The rest of the team followed suit.
In the finals the Brahmans faced host school Heritage High School. Jahner said the team knew going in that the finals were going to be close, and that momentum would swing back and forth. Gabriel Bowen and Charlie Armstrong started things off for Okeechobee, scoring six points early for the team.
Then that momentum shift Jahner warned his team about happened and Heritage stacked a few back-to-back wins to turn the tides. Halfway through the finals the Brahmans found themselves down 36-12.
But Brahman Travis McKenna gave his team a spark when he came up with a clutch pin against his opponent in the second period. Issac Herron and Todd Addington followed that win with two pins of their own. Addington pinned his opponent after only 48 seconds.
With only two matches to go and down by nine points the only way the Brahmans could win was with pins in the next two weight classes. And that’s exactly what they did.
Sophomore Jose Monrroy pinned his opponent with only a minute left in his match, using a move his teammates were shouting out to him from the sidelines.
Still trailing with one match to go, Jayme Scurry pinned his opponent near the end of the second period to clinch the regional title for Okeechobee 42-39.
The team will travel to Kissimmee on Jan. 24 and 25 to take part in the state dual wrestling tournament. Okeechobee is one of only eight teams left in standing in the state in the 2A region. Wrestlers will hit the mat at 5 p.m. at Osceola High School in Kissimmee.