Area wrestlers ready for state finals

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  • | 3:30 a.m. March 12, 2015
Area wrestlers ready for state finals
Area wrestlers ready for state finals
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2015 FHSAA Wrestling Finals

When: Friday and Saturday, all day

Where: Silver Spurs Arena, 1875 Silver Spur Lane, Kissimmee

Admission: $9 

Parking: $7 per car, $14 per bus

More information:

There are a few different ways one can choose to look at the state championships for wrestling.

On its surface, each weight class of the three respective classifications recognized by the FHSAA will have a 16-person tournament on Friday and Saturday in Kissimmee to determine a state champion.

But one could choose to take a step back and see that, in truth, the state tournament for Class 3A started with 144 wrestlers in each weight class at the respective district tournaments. Whittled to 64, those wrestlers advanced to regional tournaments this past weekend. 

And, by placing in the top four at their respective regional tournaments, those wrestlers are now among the state’s elite — one of the 16 top wrestlers in their weight classes.

And so, the coverage area has six grapplers who will represent their programs, their families and their schools this weekend. West Orange and Olympia will each send one wrester to state, while Dr. Phillips and Ocoee will each send a pair — marking a program-best for the Knights, who are in just their fourth year of existence.


The two wrestlers representing the Panthers in Kissimmee took two decidedly different roads there.

Dylan Meeks, a sophomore competing at 225 pounds who won a state title as a freshman at 195 pounds, has defeated every opponent he has faced by pin and is favored to win every time he steps on the mat for varsity competition.

Meeks is undefeated and has stacked up Metro, district and regional championships along the way to state.

Tajh Glemaud, though, was not a Metro or district champion at the heavyweight classification leading up to the regional meet. Glemaud even lost his opening match at the Class 3A Region 1 meet this past weekend, meaning he would have to win four consecutive matches to make the top four and advance to state.

He did one better — winning five consecutive matches and placing third.

“When I lost (the opening match), I thought everything was over and I started praying to God,” Glemaud recalled. “I just got into my focus and I started remembering all my moves. … It felt great (to battle back); a lot of stress was off my chest.”

Whereas Glemaud had to showcase incredible resiliency to earn his trip to state, Meeks has managed to avoid complacency in his quest for another state title and says he gives every opponent he faces the respect of someone who could end his streak.

“I know every match I go out (there), there’s an opportunity to lose,” Meeks said.

Coach John Miller praised both of his state qualifiers not just for making it — but for how they did it.

“(Glemaud) just kept battling back. … I’m very pleased with what he did,” Miller said. “When (Dylan) gets on that mat, he knows what he’s going to do. … He’s on a quest — he wants this pretty bad.”


Having come up short a year ago in the regional tournament, Ocoee junior Jules Joseph was overjoyed when he won his second-to-last match of this year’s regional tournament, securing a berth in the state tournament at 195 pounds.

“It felt amazing,” Joseph said. “I hugged my coach afterward because it felt like all the hard work, all the laughs, all the work I’ve put in — everything together, it finally paid off.”

Joseph managed to calm himself enough to win his third-place match, also, and he, along with sophomore teammate George Schanck wrestling at 170 pounds, will represent the Knights in Kissimmee — marking the first time the program, just four years in age, has sent two wrestlers to state.

“It’s exactly where we want to be,” head coach John Parmenter, who started the program, said. “We’re progressing, and we have all those signs of progression. … We’re improving, and both of these guys are back (next season).”

That they are playing a role in the growth of a young program is something that is not lost on the two state qualifiers, even as they go about their preparations this week.

“The more we step up and we show that we can go places, then more people will want to join the team, and we can have a full team next year,” Schanck said.


When it came time to wrestle for a place in the state tournament, Olympia’s Tyler Ingle was very aware of his predicament.

Sure, he’d defeated his opponent once before this season — but that came in a triple-overtime thriller. If the senior for the Titans, wrestling at 152 pounds, was to make state for the first time in his career, he’d have to confront the possibility that the match could be the last of his varsity career.

“I was kind of nervous because it was a kid I’d wrestled before, and it was a really close match,” Ingle said. “Going into the match, I was a little nervous because it could have been my last match.”

Ingle overcame that anxiety and his opponent, ultimately placing fourth in his weight class to punch a ticket to state. In doing so, he accomplished a goal he knew was possible, dating back to the summer when he committed himself to wrestling on a higher level, working hard all summer on a club team.

“I got a lot of outside training over the summer,” Ingle said. “I went to national tournaments, local tournaments — just all that kind of stuff.”


The Metro West Conference champions and Class 3A District 2 champions, the West Orange Warriors, advanced 13 wrestlers to the regional meet.

But Class 3A Region 1 is a brutal region loaded with talent, and just one Warrior remained standing after it was all said and done — Chris Briscoe, wrestling at 182 pounds.

And though he wishes more of his teammates could be joining him competing in Kissimmee this weekend, the West Orange grappler is proud to represent his school and team nonetheless.

“That’s what I’ve been working for the whole season,” Briscoe said. “(This week) I’m just focusing on staying healthy and getting my mind right, thinking positive.”

Briscoe, a senior who placed fourth at regionals, said he has tried to balance his desire to win this weekend with taking things one match at a time at the state tournament.

“My expectations are to just keep fighting,” Briscoe said. “Try to go for first, keep winning matches and if I get knocked down to the consolation bracket, I’ll just keep fighting to place.”

Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].


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