For decades, football coaches have always told their athletes that if they are not lifting weights in the offseason, they had better participate in another sport.

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In South Florida, it has always been a given that basketball or wrestling have always been a huge option for football prospects.

Last weekend at the BCAA Wrestling Tournament at Pompano Beach Blanche Ely High School, football prospects once again took center stage – at an event that has always featured the quality two sport athletes.

As Cardinal Gibbons once again ran away with the event, capturing another team title, the Chiefs were not alone, in boasting some talented football prospects, several programs highlighted the impressive two sport standouts.

Longtime football and wrestling coach Allen Held, who is always about the two sports mixing together. Held has had state champions over the years who have been football standouts as well – like former Hallandale and NFL All-Pro Davin Joseph.

“It has always been a natural tie between the two sports,” Held said as he led his Cypress Bay squad to a second place finish. “We had great football players who have done well through the years all over the county, and that is what continues to keep them coming out.”

For Cardinal Gibbons veteran head coach Frank Pettineo, he has had a number of two sport standouts through the years. He has monitored the progress of the football season to see when his athletes would be out for the team.

In the past – Cardinal Gibbons, like St. Thomas Aquinas and other football powers, have had a number of state champions and placers who compete in the two sports.”

“We have relied on so many of the football players through the years,” Pettineo said as he wrapped up another team title. “It has always been a perfect mix between the two sports.”

With linebackers, running backs and linemen usually taking part in wrestling, staying in shape is huge. Two years ago, Western head football coach Adam Ratkevich took over the wrestling program for the season and he saw firsthand how wrestling benefitted his football players.

“Keeps you in great shape and competitive year round,” Ratkevich said. “Very demanding sport, but one that will end up making these young better and more disciplined athletes.”

Because many do not understand the sport of wrestling, opting to think of the WWE, etc., many feel that the athletes are missing out on a total athletic and competitive experience.

Here are some of the young men who have put in time in both sports:

160 – Daniel Ellison, Western

182 – Kebby Louidor, Plantation

182 – Jordan Sylla, Northeast

182 – Jack Tariche, Cypress Bay

195 – Devyn Ricks, Northeast

195 – Bryce Robinson, Nova

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220 – Nicholas Casmass, Western

220 – Walter Castillo, Flanagan

220 – Hugh Dinall, Miramar

220 – Blaise Lina, Nova

220 – Nick Nelson, Cardinal Gibbons

220 – Tyrae Sessions, Coral Springs

220 – Matthew Toribio, Cypress Bay

HWT – Ladarius Bolden, Miramar

HWT – Reace Cavanaugh, Deerfield Beach

HWT – Nicholas Guerra, Coral Springs

HWT – Malik Lawrence, Flanagan

HWT – Travis McPherson, Boyd Anderson

HWT – John Pope, St. Thomas Aquinas


Cardinal Gibbons paved the way on the first day and then rolled on the second day to yet county title.

With five individual champions, the Chiefs easily beat Cypress Bay and rival St. Thomas Aquinas.

Final Team Results BCAA Championships

1 Cardinal Gibbons 292
2 Cypress Bay 205
3 St. Thomas 172
4 Coral Springs 159.5
5 Nova 151
6 South Broward 131
7 Douglas 116.5
8 Cooper City 114
9 Western 103.5
10 Ft. Lauderdale 93.5
11 Coral Springs Charter 92.5
12 Dillard 63
12 Flanagan 63 –
14 Deerfield Beach 62
14 Miramar 62
16 West Broward 52
17 Plantation 50.5
18 Taravella 48.5
19 Monarch 47
20 McArthur 46
21 Everglades 45
22 Northeast 39
23 South Plantation 35
24 Boyd Anderson 31
25 Stranahan 26.5
26 Ely 22
27 Coral Glades 18
28 Hollywood Hills 16
29 Piper 15
30 Coconut Creek 2

Jason Wolk (Douglas) DEC Joseph Riestra (Cooper City), 3-0
113 Santiago Portillo (Cypress Bay) MD Anthony Montanez (South Broward), 13-2
120 Nick Luna (Cooper City) DEC Alek Chitty (Coral Springs Charter), 10-8
126 Steven Erched (Douglas) MD Gabriel Gibson (Cardinal Gibbons), 12-4
132 Anthony Temes (Cardinal Gibbons) DEC Dylan Burton (Coral Springs), 4-3
138 Felton Morris (Coral Springs) DEC Nathan Snyder (Everglades), 6-4
145 Grant Aronoff (St. Thomas) DEC Niko Chitty (Coral Springs Charter), 8-2
152 Amadeus Concepcion (Cardinal Gibbons) DQ Gianni Guerreriero (St. Thomas)
160 Osvani Ley (Cardinal Gibbons) F Thomas Spurlock (Cypress Bay), 0:56
170 Samir Senatus (Ft. Lauderdale) DEC Shane Cannon (Cardinal Gibbons), 7-3
182 Nestor Nunez (Cardinal Gibbons) F Jack Tariche (Cypress Bay), 1:23
195 Kai Crull (Cardinal Gibbons) MD Ronald Dimpflamaier (Taravella), 19-5
220 Matthew Toribio (Cypress Bay) F Tyrae Session (Coral Springs), 5:08
285 John Pope (St. Thomas) F Robert Graham (Cypress Bay), 1:03

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