Photo courtesy of Riverview High School. The team easily won the district championship.

The Riverview High School wrestling team won its first regional championship in school history last month. According to head coach Ryan Hall, Riverview was the first team in Hillsborough County to win in the new dual regional format. The Sharks lost to eventual state champions South Bay in the state semifinal in Hall’s first season as head coach.

“We all enjoyed going out to Osceola to compete for the state title and winning the first regional title for wrestling at our school, it felt awesome,” said senior Lane Keck. “I look forward to competing for my own regional title, but we have a great shot at another regional title this year.”

Riverview recently hosted the individual district competition. Ten wrestlers made it to the finals and 13 of their 14 will compete in the regional championships next week, more than any other team.

“Our seniors have done an incredible job keeping the team together this year,” said Hall. “It’s been a long season and it’s been a grind for a few of our guys; and for them to have stuck it out all the way through is awesome.”

Players on this year’s team include: Lane Keck (48-6), Josh Guerra (38-8), Tyler Forrest (32-6), Nikolas Hernandez (46-10), Chris Felix (44-5), Carmelo Edwards (38- 17), Shemar Williams (27-16), Oskar Hernandez (45-11), Josiah Fregoso (38-22), Nick Franklin (26-20), Gunnar Malouff (43-9), Josh Francavilla (29-14), Centrell Summers (40-11) and Dante Hernandez (25-22).

According to Hall, the team has a big off-season in store with tournaments and JV players stepping into the varsity role, wrestling on the weekends to get as much experience as possible. They will have to replace eight seniors that were in their varsity lineup. They have a club team that they run at the school through Hillsborough County as well.

“It is all on those kids and my coaching staff. I don’t feel like I’ve had to do a whole lot,” said Hall. “I think those kids did what needed to be done. I can’t go on the mat and wrestle for them. They put themselves in a position to win.”

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.