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Historic night for Dade wrestlers?

It could be a memorable evening for the 305 at the Lakeland Center tonight.

A total of 13 individuals from Dade could go home with gold medals at state wrestling and the county's best team by far could finally take the hardware it's coveted for so long.

South Dade has a choke hold on the 3A team lead, which should only increase with five finalists.

And in Class 1A, congrats to Pace for being in 2nd right now. I looked at the brackets like at 6 p.m. and saw them in 7th, but the Spartans made a huge jump with Didley Weche and Julian Martinez winning their semifinal matches.

Here's a quick look at the finals:

103 - Earl Hall (Homestead) vs. Mauricio Villanueva (South Dade)

Rematch of the regional final, won by only one point by Hall. Can the freshman finish unbeaten or will his top rival give the Bucs even more glory?

112 - Eric Chandler (Braddock) vs. Kyle Grueninger (Clearwater Countryside)

Chandler, who has lost only once, goes for title No. 3 which would set up his bid for a first career sweep next year. Grueninger is 49-2.

119 - No Dade. Braddock's Gabe Chandler lost in semi to Osceola's Pete Baldwin.

125 - James "Rat" Williams (South Dade) vs. Matt Nereim (Winter Springs)

Will Rat get his redemption?

130 - Michael Nates (Hialeah) vs. Wilson Metellus (South Dade)

Both guys are former state runners-up. Nates lost his only match in the regional semis. This will probably be the best of the Dade vs. Dade final matches.

135 - Tico Baez (South Dade) vs. Uxsunn Ramirez (Southwest)

This one will likely be "The Coronation." The winningest wrestler in Dade history can finish on a high note.

140 - Rey Parrado (Goleman) vs. Carlos Montero (Coral Gables)

Parrado was the regional champion, but Montero has only one loss all season.

145 - Kendrick Sanders (South Dade) vs. Josh Keebler (Oviedo)

Sanders goes for two straight and how fitting for the Bucs if they beat at least one Oviedo wrestler on South Dade's big day.

152 - No Dade. Osceola's Alex Eggers ousted South Dade's Luis Montalvo in the semis. South Broward's Ivan Lopuchansky should win the title.

160 - No Dade. Lakeland's John Nichols eliminated American's George Garcia in the semis. South Broward's Allen Held should win the title.

171 - Tommy Perez (American) vs. Niko Brown (Osceola)

Perez is unbeaten, but this will be his toughest match of the year against Brown, who is battle-tested at 48-1.

189 - Javoris Plain (Southridge) vs. Deron Carter (Flagler Palm Coast)

The "Man Beast" wrestles like his nickname portrays. I'd be shocked if he lost this one, no disrespect to Carter.

215 - No Dade. The county's last participant here was Willie Wiggins, who was beat by Palm Beach Gardens' Jacob Brady in the quarterfinals.

Heavyweight - Michael Chinchilla (Sunset) vs. Dustin Heiser (Orlando Olympia)

The master of the fast pin during the playoffs, Chinchilla can give Sunset its first heavyweight champion ever.

CLASS 1A

103 - Ricky Rodriguez (Belen) vs. Rossi Bruno (Tampa Bay Christian)

Rodriguez will try to become the Wolverines' first champ since Jason Machado pulled a "3-peat" from 2002-2004. Bruno is an undefeated 8th grader (39-0).

152 - Diddley Weche (Pace) vs. Joshua Trippett (Glen St. Mary Baker County)

My colleague Frank DeMarzo was blown away yesterday watching Didley Weche's semifinal win. He will try to be Pace's 1st ind. champ since Tony Santiago in 1998 and only the school's second ever.

171- Julian Martinez (Pace) vs. Carter Downs (Jupiter Christian)

Martinez pinned his two opponents Friday and stands a good chance to give Pace a pair of state champions for the first time.

There it is as Dade gets ready to show Florida exactly why it is the toughest wrestling county in the state.

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