The Cougar Invitational, a wrestling tournament hosted by Durant High School, took place earlier this month. There were 32 teams represented at the tournament. The teams of wrestlers were not just teams from the local area.  There were teams from as far north as Georgia and as far south as Miami represented at the tournament.
This year, the Cougar Invitational was held at a new venue. This was the first year the tournament was held at the 100,000-sq.-ft. Tampa Convention Center. The new venue and gaining media exposure shows the quality of this event throughout the past years.
The host team, led by Head Coach Dennis Kitko, looked to do the best they could at the tournament.
“The team did a great job and they finished better than expected,” said Kitko.
The Durant Cougar Wrestling team finish eighth overall in the tournament. The result was pleasing to the team because of the stout competition. Perennial wrestling powerhouse Brandon High School took the prize of first place at the Cougar Invitational.
“We went against some good competition and I was proud of how the team worked hard, “said Kitko.
The team looks to gain momentum from the tournament, and is striving to finish the rest of the season to the best of their ability.
“We are in a very difficult region,” said Kitko. “We will have to have effort from everyone to be successful this year.”
Overall, the Cougar Invitational was a success. It gained national exposure from many popular wrestling publications, and is only gaining popularity for the years to come. This tournament is becoming known as one of the most competitive tournaments in the state of Florida.
Chase Haley of the 132 division ended the tournament with a record of 6-1. He was one of the Cougars who had some success in the tournament that their school was hosting.
Next year, the tournament will most likely be as successful as ever. The Cougar Invitational even has a Website for people to gain more information about the event (
For more information about Durant’s wrestling team, visit or

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