Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Defending State Wrestling Champ Upset in Tournament

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Defending State Wrestling Champ Upset in Tournament

Article excerpt

One of the biggest stories of last week's high school wrestling district tournaments was not who won, but who did not win.

P.J. Cobbert, a sophomore at Clay High School, lost his first match of the season in the finals of the 142-pound weight division in the District 2-4A tournament at Baker County High School. Cobbert (27-1), a defending state champion and ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A all season, lost to Michael Jones of Live Oak Suwanee.

"I was flat and got behind in the first and second period," Cobbert said. "I got within one point in the third period, but I made a mistake and that was it. If I am going to be a state champion, then I have to be in a better frame of mind."

Clay High coach James Reape predicted trouble before the match began.

"P.J. got beat because Mike was hungrier and he wanted it more than P.J.," Reape said. "I am anxious to see how P.J. responds. This was a good loss for him."

However, Cobbert hopes the rematch comes in the regional tournament, which begins at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at Clay High.

In wrestling, teams compete in district competition and then regional competition before qualifying for the state tournament. To qualify for regionals, a wrestler must place in the top four during districts.

Overall, the Blue Devils finished second to Suwanee in the five-team tournament and 12 Clay wrestlers advanced to the regionals. Clay had four district champions: 103-pound junior Romel Jensen; 125-pound junior Wade Bramlitt; 135-pound junior Troy Ganion and 154-pound senior Jeremy Stephenson.

Besides Cobbert, 160-pound junior Marvin Short and 171-pound sophomore Mark Detoro finished as district runners-up.

RIDGEVIEW: The Panthers finished third in the team competition behind Clay High in the District 2-4A tournament. Ten Ridgeview wrestlers have qualified for the regionals at Clay High. …

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