Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sole Survivor

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sole Survivor

Article excerpt

STATE WRESTLING: Booker junior is only area wrestler to make semis

LAKELAND

Once in a while, Eric Cabral will get a little silly on the mat.

"Once in a while if he gets a kid that's fairly easy, he'll try stupid things," Booker wrestling coach William Pitts said.

That will not be the case today.

Of the 32 area wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament, only Cabral still has a chance to capture a gold medal after the first day of competition.

Cabral won his first two matches in the Class 1A 132-pound weight class Friday at the FHSAA State Wrestling Finals at The Lakeland Center.

The junior opened with an 11-6 victory over Cody Joseph of University Christian (Jacksonville). Cabral then qualified for the semifinals with a 12-5 decision over Niko DeAugustino of Pasco.

Raising his record to 42-4, Cabral will wrestle Matthew Seymour of Titusville. Seymour (29-6) recorded major decisions by 13 and 11 points in his first two rounds.

"Hard work," Pitts said. "He really works hard, trains hard. He's got real good technique."

As a freshman, Pitts said Cabral "wasn't very good."

Last year, he qualified for the state meet, losing his first match, winning his second and dropping his third.

The experience helped him entering this season.

"It helps everybody," Pitts said.

In his second bout against DeAugustino, Cabral had a takedown late in the first period to open a 5-1 lead.

"That was real important. The most important points is whoever gets the first takedown. That's basically who wins," Cabral said. "I've seen him wrestle before. He's pretty tough. I just had to do what I had to do. I had to wrestle my match. Just be smart and don't do anything stupid."

Cabral built a big lead before tiring "a little" at the end.

Still, the 2-0 mark is best among area wrestlers.

"I feel pretty proud about that," he said.

"He did pretty well today, Pitts said. "He listens. If he doesn't we'll jump all over him."

As far as strategy for Day 2 today, Pitts said, "Wrestle the best that he can and don't do anything silly. …

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