The Central Florida Wrestling Academy- South Florida Lightning All-Star Team placed 4th in the 2016 Disney Duals, held this week at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.
The team is comprised of wrestlers from across Central and South Florida, including Tampa Riverview, Kissimmee Osceola, and Gateway, with a large number of wrestlers hailing from Lake Highland Prep. The exact number? Half of the roster.
Lake Highland Prep has certainly shown why their wrestlers belong on an All-Star squad, with 4 state championships in the past 5 years. This past season the Highlanders had 9 individual state champions, a record setting number.
“Everybody gets better being in that same room which helps us,” said soon-to-be senior Jake Brindley, who has won three state titles. “So when we are all that good, we can kind of form a team like this that is made up mostly of us which keeps the continuity and morphs you from a high school team into a club team, which they feed off of each other.”
But no wrestler shined brighter than Erich Byelick. The rising junior is carrying the momentum from his first state title win into the club months, going undefeated through the tournament.
“Wrestling the top kids in the country and going undefeated it’s like, really good, “ said Byelick. “And there are a lot of people I have been wrestling up with through the years, and so me being able to knock off a lot of the kids I have been wrestling since 11-12 (years old), felt really good.”
Every pin, every takedown is a step in the right direction as Lake Highland works to go from the best in Florida to the best in the nation.
“Other people at this tournament should be watching out for us next year because we are going to be the #1 team in the country,” said Byelick.