Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pirates Making It Matter on the Mat | Chance Sharbono and His Pirate Teammates Committed to Winning and Building a Program

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Pirates Making It Matter on the Mat | Chance Sharbono and His Pirate Teammates Committed to Winning and Building a Program

Article excerpt

FEATURED SPORT: WRESTLING

BRADENTON -- Chance Sharbono knows how to wrestle. He has the resume to prove it.

The Braden River High junior has been to a pair of state tournaments, and is in the midst of a special season, highlighted by Sharbono being named the most outstanding wrestler at the Manatee County and Lakeland George Jenkins tournaments.

Scout.com ranks Sharbono the state's second-best Class 2A wrestler at 138 pounds.

But the stout kid with the bleach-blonde hair wants to be an ace salesman, too. The product Sharbono is pushing is the Pirates' wrestling program, and he hopes to sell it to those walking the halls inside the school located just off State Road 70 in East Manatee County.

Fresh off last week's strong showing at the county championships, where Sharbono was one of three Pirates to win his weight class, Braden River could earn more notoriety Saturday during the Class 2A- District 14 tournament at Venice High.

The Pirates, however, already have improved where it counts the most -- participation. Sharbono, who transferred from Sarasota High, sees it daily inside Braden River's wrestling room. During his freshman year, Sharbono remembers Braden River sending about five kids to the district tournament after beginning the season with a full roster.

"I had a feeling it was a newer, fresher team," Sharbono said. "I'm happy to see we have 10, 12 kids in the room."

Wrestlers are generally easy to spot: They are the ones with the black eyes and bloodied noses, the ones who spend their days wondering if they're going to cut or add weight. It's not a sport for everyone, especially in a school where there is little tradition.

"It's hard to find the right person with the attitude," Sharbono said. "Pulling someone out fresh from the classroom that's an upperclassmen, they've gone through a couple of different sports. And if you're trying to pull them into a sport that's one of the toughest, getting them to stick around is tough."

Lucas Romano, a transfer from Sarasota Military Academy and a county champ at 126, agreed.

"It was kind of easy to get them to come out," said Romano, a junior, "but retaining them was hard. …

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