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Stuart Mahler



2014 Florida 3A State High School Individual Champions

Top Florida Wrestlers and Teams to Compete for State Titles

This Saturday, the grappling action will heat up in the Sunshine State as the top wrestlers and teams compete for state titles in the 2014 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Wrestling Finals at The Lakeland Center.

Click here to view the schedule and watch LIVE coverage of the semifinals and finals on the NFHS Network.

Many familiar teams will return as Brandon in Class 3A (now in Class 2A), Springstead in Class 2A and Lake Highland Prep in Class 1A won team state titles each of the past three years.  In addition, Lake Gibson in Class 2A and Clay in Class 1A were runners-up each of the past three years.

Among other teams that have enjoyed recent success are Osceola, St. Thomas Aquinas and Palm Harbor University in Class 3A, Riverdale and Nature Coast in Class 2A, and Cardinal Gibbons in Class 1A.

Brandon, which holds the state record of 24 state titles, is currently riding a streak of 13 consecutive state championships.  Under the direction of coach Russ Cozart, the program won a national-record 459 consecutive dual meets from 1974 to 2008.

Homestead South Dade in Class 3A is shooting for its ninth state title.  During the past 17 years, the Buccaneers have won eight state titles, placed second seven times and third once.  In addition, four South Dade wrestlers competed in the 2012 Summer Olympic trials.

Stuart Mahler

This year, South Dade has a pair of brothers who are ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.  Ozzy Lugo, a 106-pound sophomore who is 42-1, and junior Patrick Lugo III, who is 43-0 at 138, both hope to bring home state titles.

Shown above is Fox Baldwin (wearing blue and white) wrestling in the 2013 FHSAA Class 3A 152-pound finals

According to longtime Florida wrestling expert and Wrestling USA Magazine 2013 Master-of-Wrestling Award recipient Stuart Mahler, there will be several outstanding wrestlers hoping to repeat as state champions.

“I feel that the best wrestler going for his fourth state title is Fox Baldwin of Kissimmee Osceola,” Mahler began. “At 160 pounds, he is currently 43-0 and is the national record-holder for both career victories (330) and career falls (251).”  He broke his older brother and three-time state champion Pete’s record. After finishing as Class 1A state runner-up at 106 pounds in 2010, he won state titles the next three years at 119, 138 and 152 pounds.

James Flint

Another top multiple state champion is senior James Flint of Brandon, who is 28-0 at 126 pounds.  After winning state titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012, he was runner-up last year at 120 pounds.  As such, he’s a five-time finalist and is going for his fourth state title.

“Chase Singletary of Palmetto Ridge, who was state runner-up as a sixth-grader, won titles each of the following two years and is going for his third as just a freshman.”

Chase Singletary

Two other Brandon wrestlers are multiple state champions back to defend their titles.  Three-time state champion Dylan Lucas will seek No. 4 in the 132-pound weight class, while 113-pound Kyle Norstrem is gunning for a third championship.

“As far as the teams are concerned, I feel that the two premier wrestling programs in Florida are Brandon, which is coached by Russ Cozart, and South Dade, which is coached by Victor Balmeceda,” Mahler said.  “South Dade was the last team to beat Brandon when it broke the Eagles’ national-record dual meet winning streak in 2008.”

“The FHSAA and The Lakeland Center are committed to putting on a first-class event this weekend and showcasing the talent of Florida’s top wrestlers at this year’s 50th anniversary of the FHSAA Wrestling Finals,” FHSAA Public Relations Specialist Corey Sobers said.

“Everybody in attendance is guaranteed to see some of the best high school wrestling in the country in a great atmosphere and we are excited about expanding the coverage of this event.  For the first time through the Florida channel on the NFHS Network, all six mats will be live video streamed and we will also be posting content throughout the meet, utilizing FHSAA social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so there is more action available to wrestling fans than ever before.”




Wrestling USA Magazine

Florida Man of the Year

Head Coach Jim Bird has been coaching/teaching at Osceola High School since 1988. In addition to being the head wrestling coach, Coach Bird is also the Athletic Director, and also a member of the coaching staff for the Kowboys 1998 State Championship Football Team.

Jim is a 1987 graduate of Glenville State College where he played defensive back on the football team. In high school, he was a 3-sport standout at Spencer (WV) High School in Football, Wrestling and Baseball. He was a 2x WV State Finalist in wrestling.

Coach Bird was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame-Florida Chapter in 2010, was the 2009 FACA/Florida Dairy Farmers 3A Wrestling Coach of the Year, a 6x OBC Coach of the Year, and the OBC Overall Coach of the Year. Jim is married to wife, Olga, and has three sons: Angel, Javier and Gabriel. He also has one granddaughter, Layla Alison Maldonado.

Rick Tribit

Business Education Instructor/

Assistant Wrestling Coach

Osceola High School

420 S. Thacker Avenue

Kissimmee, FL  34741


407-933-8530 (FAX)

"We are what we repeatedly do....Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit!" - Aristotle


South Area FAWA / USA WRESTLING National team work out during NCAA'S on a wed night in Miami.

Kenny Monday Olympic Champion, Nestor Varona Fl. National Team GRECO Coach, Team Leader and South Area Board member Humberto Miret , Mike Turner, Saul Tejada, Angel Vasquez , Boomer Mears,  and other HS Coaches.